Why Follow a Preoperative Bariatric Diet?
A preoperative bariatric diet is a nutritional regimen one adheres to in preparation for a bariatric surgery such as a gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery, duodenal switch surgery, or lap band surgery. Lap band patients may begin their preoperative bariatric diet 1 to 2 weeks before surgery. Gastric bypass patients or duodenal switch patients are encouraged to begin their preoperative bariatric diet up to 3 months before surgery (National Bariatric Link, n.d.).
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (n.d.), a bariatric surgery is a medical procedure that promotes weight loss. Surgical procedures for weight loss are generally low risk (Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery Consortium, 2009), though one’s candidacy for surgery should always be assessed by a health professional. Individuals pursuing surgery can begin with a preoperative bariatric diet.
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Benefits of a Preoperative Bariatric Diet
- Helps reduce fat stored in the liver.
- A fatty liver is usually large due to large deposits of glycogen (the stored form of carbohydrates), fat, and water. When followed strictly, the preoperative bariatric diet can reduce these deposits and allow for a procedure with fewer complications.
- Helps the body burn fat instead of muscle tissue for energy.
- Helps the body prepare for the postoperative bariatric diet.
- By reducing caloric content and consuming foods high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and low in fat, a person is more likely to acclimate well to a postoperative bariatric diet.
(National Bariatric Link, n.d.).
Composition of a Preoperative Bariatric Diet
- Do not consume fatty, sugary, or other liquefied high carbohydrate foods (National Bariatric Link, n.d.).
- Do not smoke. Smokers are at an increased risk for blood clots among other complications during and after surgery (Obesity Coverage, n.d.).
- Do not drink alcohol, caffeinated or carbonated drinks, or sugary drinks (Ward, 2010).
- Consume liquid meals and beverages slowly in increments throughout the day. Do not drink while consuming liquefied meals. Drink at least 30 minutes after meal consumption (Obesity Coverage, n.d.).
- Consume a daily multivitamin and mineral tablet (Ward, 2010).
- Consume V8 and vegetable juice, soup broth, thin cream of wheat or cream of rice, and 1 to 2 daily servings of liquified lean meat and vegetables if approved by your dietician (National Bariatric Link, n.d.).
- Consume unsweetened tea, sugar-free crystal light, flavored water, skim milk, and low-fat yogurt (National Bariatric Link, n.d.).
- Consume protein shakes or other liquid protein meal replacements (Ward, 2010).
- Do not consume anything starting at midnight the day of your surgery (Obesity Coverage, n.d.).
- A typical day of a preoperative bariatric diet may look like this:
|Time of Day||Menu Items|
|7:30 am||1 SlimFast|
|8:30 am||8 ounces of skim milk|
|9:30 am||8 ounces of water|
|10:30 am||GNC Total Lean Shake 25|
|11:30 am||8 ounces of soup broth|
|12:30 pm||8 ounces of water|
|1:30 pm||Sugar-free pudding|
|2:30 pm||8 ounces of water|
|3:30 pm||1 SlimFast|
|4:30 pm||8 ounces of soup broth|
|5:30 pm||GNC Total Lean Shake 25|
|6:30 pm||8 ounces of unsweetened tea|
|7:30 pm||8 ounces of soup broth|
1. American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (n.d.). Who is a candidate for bariatric surgery? Retrieved from https://asmbs.org/patients/who-is-a-candidate-for-bariatric-surgery
2. Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery Consortium. (2009). Perioperative safety in longitudinal assessment of bariatric surgery. New England Journal of Medicine, 361, 445–454. Retrieved from http://www.nejm.org/
3. National Bariatric Link. (n.d.). The recommended pre-operative diet for bariatric weight loss surgery. Retrieved from https://www.nationalbariatriclink.org/bariatric-surgery-diet.html
4. Obesity Coverage. (n.d.). The big gastric bypass diet guide. Retrieved from https://www.obesitycoverage.com/the-big-gastric-bypass-diet-guide/
5. Ward, L. (2010). Oxford bariatric service pre bariatric surgery diet information for patients. Retrieved from http://www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files/101018bariatricdiet.pdf