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No Pre-Op Liquid Diet?



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Hello, I am scheduled for VSG on December 9th but I was not put on a pre-op liquid diet. You can check out my stats to the left. I have noticed that almost everyone goes on a liquid diet of some kind before their surgery. I am worried that I was not given this requirement. Is there anyone here that was not put on a pre-op liquid diet? Please let me know and share your surgery story with me, as I would find it very reassuring.

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My surgeon only requires the 2 week pre op liquid diet for folks that have a BMI of 40 or higher.

Is your BMI under 40? That could explain it.

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4 minutes ago, Losingit2018 said:

My surgeon only requires the 2 week pre op liquid diet for folks that have a BMI of 40 or higher.

Is your BMI under 40? That could explain it.

Oh, okay that does make sense. Maybe that is why I don't have a liquid diet. My BMI is somewhere around 36. I just really hope there is no damage to my liver. Although I trust the surgeon, I know that organ trauma can happen.

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Not all surgeons require a pre-op diet.

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From what I can tell, the liquid diet requirement isn't as common as it might appear- it only seems universal because those who have to do them complain a lot about it, while those who don't have to do it have nothing to complain about (it's called adverse selection and is fairly common in internet forums.) It seems that for those programs who do some kind of pre-op diet, it is more common (and more sensible) to do some kind of diet with a meal or two per day of meat and veg (or a low cal frozen dinner) and a Protein Drink or two.) I've never seen any viable explanation as to what the liquid diet does that a basic low carb, calorie controlled diet doesn't do (other than annoy the patient!)

Our doc doesn't do any pre-op diet, other than the usual day before GI surgery thing, no matter what BMI the patient is, and the doc who runs out support group now quite specifically doesn't want his patients doing such diets - he wants his patients as strong as possible going into surgery, and fasting for weeks ahead of time doesn't do it.

So. there are lots of docs with differing philosophies and practices out there. Personally, from what I have seen over the years, I would avoid the ones who do those liquid pre op diets as, at best. there are other ways to accomplish the same thing with less trauma on the patient, and at worst, it may be a crutch for a doc whose skills aren't quite up to scratch.

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7 hours ago, RickM said:

Personally, from what I have seen over the years, I would avoid the ones who do those liquid pre op diets as, at best. there are other ways to accomplish the same thing with less trauma on the patient, and at worst, it may be a crutch for a doc whose skills aren't quite up to scratch.

I don't know that I would assume that the surgeons who require it aren't up to snuff. A lot of them still require it. Some do, some don't, basically....it's just a difference in opinion.

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31 minutes ago, catwoman7 said:

I don't know that I would assume that the surgeons who require it aren't up to snuff. A lot of them still require it. Some do, some don't, basically....it's just a difference in opinion.

I agree with you - saying a surgeon that doesn't require it is bad is a bit of a stretch. I mean, my surgeon required me to lose 5% of my weight before surgery - that shrunk my liver enough that I didn't need the pre-op diet.

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On 12/05/2019 at 19:19, PlanetHopper said:



Hello, I am scheduled for VSG on December 9th but I was not put on a pre-op liquid diet. You can check out my stats to the left. I have noticed that almost everyone goes on a liquid diet of some kind before their surgery. I am worried that I was not given this requirement. Is there anyone here that was not put on a pre-op liquid diet? Please let me know and share your surgery story with me, as I would find it very reassuring.


Hi there - my surgeon didn’t require a liquid diet regardless of BMI. It was ok to eat regular foods up to 8 hours before checking into the hospital. They said it was better for healing post op.

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2 hours ago, catwoman7 said:

I don't know that I would assume that the surgeons who require it aren't up to snuff. A lot of them still require it. Some do, some don't, basically....it's just a difference in opinion.

I don't necessarily, either, though that would be the opinion of some surgeons relative to some of their peers - it is not unusual for surgeons to have a bit of a God complex, given the nature of their work.

I don't mind a surgeon requiring some kind of "liver shrink" diet if they are sensitive to that issue ("a man's got to know his limitations" in my best Clint Eastwood voice...); however, from what I have seen over the years, the need for a liquid only diet, other than the day before surgery, is very questionable, and may indicate a bit of a disregard for the patient (maybe a bit of a "that's the way we've always done it" approach.) Whatever the reasoning, given that there are plenty of surgeons out there who don't do liquid pre-op diets (or any diets in many cases), and perform these procedures as well or better than those who do, I would stand by my opinion to avoid those who do impose them.

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1 hour ago, lvidacovich said:

I agree with you - saying a surgeon that doesn't require it is bad is a bit of a stretch. I mean, my surgeon required me to lose 5% of my weight before surgery - that shrunk my liver enough that I didn't need the pre-op diet.

Yes, many need to do three to six months of dieting for insurance approval, and some have already lost substantial weight ahead of time, yet some programs still insist on these diets, cookie cutter style. I fully appreciate a surgeon who can look at a patient as an individual, and consider their unique circumstances rather than lumping everyone together.

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I did not have to do a pre-op liquid diet because I lost a good chunk of weight before surgery and my BMI was on the lower end. If it went below a 35, which could have easily happened with a liquid diet, I would no longer qualify for surgery. I suspect that is why you aren't on one either! Don't stress too much, your doctors know what they're doing!

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32 minutes ago, RickM said:

I don't necessarily, either, though that would be the opinion of some surgeons relative to some of their peers - it is not unusual for surgeons to have a bit of a God complex, given the nature of their work.

I don't mind a surgeon requiring some kind of "liver shrink" diet if they are sensitive to that issue ("a man's got to know his limitations" in my best Clint Eastwood voice...); however, from what I have seen over the years, the need for a liquid only diet, other than the day before surgery, is very questionable, and may indicate a bit of a disregard for the patient (maybe a bit of a "that's the way we've always done it" approach.) Whatever the reasoning, given that there are plenty of surgeons out there who don't do liquid pre-op diets (or any diets in many cases), and perform these procedures as well or better than those who do, I would stand by my opinion to avoid those who do impose them.

well, I had my surgery at one of the top research & teaching hospitals in the country, with a surgeon who's on the surgery faculty, so I can't say he'd be one to avoid. I still think it's a matter of professional opinion. Some do it - some don't.

I see you had John Rabkin - also a top surgeon. I do think it's just a difference of opinion. I would hardly call my surgeon inferior to those who don't require pre-op liquid diets. He trains a lot of other bariatric surgeons...

Edited by catwoman7

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Wow! Thank you to everyone that contributed to this discussion. I didn't expect so many responses and a productive conversation. I feel a lot better about not having a liquid diet. Thank you again for your contributions! :D

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