Before scheduling gastric bypass surgery, many bariatric surgeons place their patients on a high-protein diet designed to shrink their livers. Some surgeons require a certain amount of weight loss before they will schedule surgery. The specifics of the diet vary from surgeon to surgeon and from patient to patient. If you are planning bariatric surgery, your medical team will give you instructions on eating before and after surgery. Always follow the advice of your medical team.
Why Diet When You're Having Surgery?
If you'll be having gastric bypass surgery for weight loss, you may be wondering why you'll need to diet before having the surgery. After all, isn't weight loss what the surgery is supposed to accomplish? Following a liver shrink diet results in a smaller liver. This means that your liver will be more out of the way during the surgical procedure, which is a benefit especially during laparoscopic procedures. A smaller liver can also result in less time being spent under anesthesia, which can lessen the risk of complications. Following a diet before your surgery will help improve your overall health before the surgical procedure. Many overweight people are malnourished. Your presurgical diet will include all the protein and nutrients you need for maximum health. Losing even 10 or 15 pounds before surgery can help improve your surgical outcome. And finally, you will have to adhere to a strict plan of eating following your surgery. Following the high protein liver shrink diet beforehand gives you and your surgeon valuable insight into how well you will be able to follow your eating plan after surgery.
Why High Protein?
The importance of protein cannot be overstated. A diet with adequate protein ensures that you lose fat, especially abdominal fat which can interfere with surgery, and maintain lean muscle mass even while reducing your caloric intake. A balanced and nutritionally rich high protein diet ensures that your body will have everything it needs to recover well from bariatric surgery. The high protein liver shrink diet also helps you acclimate yourself to the higher protein, reduced calorie, reduced carbohydrate diet you will have to follow after surgery.
The specifics of your diet will be determined by your physician and medical team. Expect to consume between 800 and 1,200 calories daily, and between 70 and 120 g of protein daily as well as a multi-vitamin mineral supplement. Some physicians prescribe all liquid diets consisting of protein meal replacement products such as shakes. Some physicians specify certain products, while others allow you to make your own choices within certain parameters. Your medical team will choose a diet for you based on your needs and goals, your health and the procedures that are planned. You may be required to diet for one to two weeks before surgery, or for several months.