Avoiding caffeine after gastric bypass surgery is a common medical guideline. Here are some reasons why.
Gastric bypass is a major operation, even if it is of the minimally invasive kind. It is important to adhere strictly to your doctor’s guidelines when it comes to the food and drinks that must be avoided once the procedure is completed, especially during the period immediately after your operation.
Caffeine is a Stimulant and Diuretic
Two effects of caffeine that are not tolerated well by post-gastric bypass operation patients are that it temporarily increases the heart rate, and that it acts as a diuretic. The main source of nutrition of patients who have just undergone the gastric bypass procedure is liquids, and because of the diuretic effect of caffeine, the liquids will be flushed out immediately, leaving you feeling dehydrated and weak. Thus, it is recommended that the intake of caffeine be limited to a maximum of 300 mg. (Schauer, P. R, 2007)
Caffeine Makes You Feel Hungry
One of the goals of the gastric bypass operation is to ultimately reduce your food intake, even after you have lost a significant amount of weight. By taking large amounts of caffeine right after your operation, you become susceptible to feeling hungry more often because of caffeine’s diuretic and thermogenic effects. (Dr. Andrade, tc.umn.edu )
Caffeine Irritates the Stomach Pouch
Another reason why liquids that contain caffeine are not recommended after the gastric bypass operation is that it can cause irritation of the stomach pouch, which is extremely sensitive right after the said operation.
Preventing Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms
Because of the absence of caffeine in your body after a gastric bypass operation, you may experience caffeine withdrawal headaches, especially if prior to your operation, you were highly dependent on caffeine for energy. To avoid such an occurrence, gradually decrease your caffeine intake months before your gastric bypass operation, so as not to shock your system.
Quote: “Some gastric byass patients may have recurrent ulcers at the gastric outlet, which can be problematic. Often they can be cured by medicines and staying away from cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine. Infrequently, they may be need to be resected. This procedure can also be performed laparoscopically removing the ulcer and recreating a new stomach outlet.”
Source: Vishal Mehta, M.D. Revision Gastric Bypass
Mehta Obesity Center; www.mehtabariatriccenter.com/
Quote: “Caffeine temporarily increases heart rate and acts as a diuretic. As a result, coffee can cause dehydration if these drinks are the main source of fluid intake. The recommended intake of caffeine is 300mg or no more than 3 to 5 ounces of coffee. Caffeine intake should be decreased gradually to avoid the headaches caused by withdrawal.”
Source: Schauer, P. R., Bruce D. Schirmer, and Stacy A. Brethauer. Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery
New York, Springer 2007. Print
 Schauer, P. R., Bruce D. Schirmer, and Stacy A. Brethauer. Minimally invasive bariatric surgery . New York: Springer, 2007. Print.
 Dr. Andrade, Dr. Kellogg, Dr. Leslie, and Dr. Ikramuddin. “Diet Guidelines After Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass.” University of Minnesota Medical Center. Web. 7 Dec. 2010. http://www.tc.umn.edu/~lesli002/UMMC-Fairview%20PDF’s/Diet%20Guidebook%20for%20Laparoscopic%20Gastric%20Bypass.pdf .
 “The Risks and Complications of Weight Loss Surgery.” The Center for Laparoscopic Obesity Surgery. Web. 07 Dec. 2010. http://www.clos.net/complications/complications.htm.