Bariatric Surgery

The Importance of The Pre-Op Diet. Why Is It Necessary?

May 20, 2022

All patients who decide to undergo bariatric surgery will be required to follow a 2-week diet before surgery. This diet will reduce the size of the liver which makes the procedure easier and safer to perform to ensure your weight-loss journey goes as smoothly as possible.

Following the pre-op diet before surgery will help to shrink the liver. Shrinking the liver will:

  • Help reduce problems during operation as the liver will be smaller, more flexible, and easier to move.
  • Remove glycogen and fatty deposits from your liver.

As you approach surgery, make sure you have everything you need for your 2-week pre-op diet. The diet is a 1200 calorie diet consuming 60-80 grams of protein every day. This diet consists mainly of high protein shakes or incorporating protein into a variety of drinks or recipes. You can have protein shakes or bars for any meal or snack when you are hungry. Choose 4-5 or less high protein drinks or protein bars per day. Always have a drink or bar for breakfast when you wake up. Do not skip meals and make sure to sip on water throughout the day to get 64 ounces each day.

You are allowed one meal per day of lean meat and veggies, no starches. Be sure to weigh or measure all foods eaten and keep a diary. Choose 5oz’s or less of lean meat. It can be baked, broiled, or grilled. Do not eat fried or battered meats. It is recommended consuming mainly poultry and fish during this diet.

An example of a daily meal plan may be:

  • Breakfast: A shake or a bar (~200 Calories)
  • Lunch: A shake or a bar (~200 Calories)
  • Dinner: A meal of lean meat and vegetables (~500 Calories), 1 serving fat (~50 Calories)
  • Snack: Shake or bar (~200 Calories)

Following the pre-op diet will help set you on the right track for losing weight and maintaining progress after the procedure. Life changes rapidly after the operation. Your diet changes tremendously. Slowly breaking yourself in is healthier and more efficient when following the pre-op diet.

Remember, the purpose of this diet is to shrink your liver to ensure a safe operation. Surgery can be cancelled if your liver is too large to do surgery safely.

These changes can be challenging but training yourself before your operation will help ensure a safer and more successful operation, and better prepare you for the follow through and lifestyles changes required after bariatric surgery.