Gastric Bypass Pre-Surgery Diet


Gastric bypass surgery is used to help the morbidly obese lose weight. Not only do you need to make drastic changes to your diet after surgery, but some surgeons also require you to make changes to your diet before your gastric bypass. The preoperative gastric bypass diet is a liquid diet aimed at helping you lose some weight prior to your surgery to start the weight loss process and reduce complications during the procedure. Consult your doctor or dietitian to discuss your gastric bypass preop diet.

Diet Rationale

  • There are always risks when having surgery, but if you're obese or morbidly obese, your risk of complications -- which may include infection, nerve injury or heart attack -- are even greater than the risk for the nonobese, according to the University of Michigan Healthy System. Taking steps before your gastric bypass to lose some weight may reduce those risks.

    Obesity generally causes an enlarged liver due to an increase in glycogen -- or carbohydrate -- stores, fatty deposits and water. Your liver is found in your abdominal cavity and lies over your stomach. Losing weight before your surgery reduces the size of your liver, making the surgery easier to perform for the surgeon, says University of Florida Health.

Preoperative Diets

  • The type and duration of the liquid diet recommended prior to your surgery depends on your surgeon or clinic guidelines. The liquid diet can last anywhere from five to 14 days. The preoperative liquid diet includes a protein or weight-loss shake and clear liquids. Clear liquid drink options typically include water, unsweetened tea and sugar-free drink mixes.

    If your preoperative diet is of longer duration, you may also be allowed to have diluted juices, gelatin, fruit ice and full liquids, which include yogurt, cream soups, sherbet and milk with your protein shakes.

Foods Not Allowed

  • It's important to closely follow the diet prescribed prior to your surgery to ensure success. That includes avoiding foods not allowed on your diet plan. In addition to solid foods, your doctor may also provide a list of beverages not permitted on your diet plan. These may include carbonated beverages such as soft drinks or seltzer, drinks with caffeine including coffee, and sports drinks.

Typical Day

  • For optimal nutrition, the protein shake should make up the bulk of your diet. You should drink five to seven shakes a day on your preoperative gastric bypass diet, according to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. A typical day on your diet plan may include a shake for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus one as an afternoon snack and another before bed. To stay hydrated, drink water or noncarbonated sugar-free beverages throughout the day.


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