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What is the purpose of pre-op diet?



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Posted (edited)

What is the purpose of the pre-op diet?

Not the liquid diet just before the surgery, more of the general diet I hear people are asked to go into.

Is it to show that you are seriously committed to sticking to lifestyle change?

Or is to to show that dieting doesn't work for you?

Edited by keneee
clarified the question is not about the liquid diet

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The pre-op diet, whether it's the shakes or just low-carb high Protein is meant to shrink your liver so it's easier to move out of the way during surgery. You don't want your surgeon to have trouble getting around your liver because any damage to the liver could be bad, especially since people who are obese tend to have fatty, damaged livers already. It also makes for a faster, smoother recovery.

It's very important to keep to the diet your surgery center gives you. I've seen posts here where people's surgeries were cancelled because their livers were too enlarged to proceed.

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like the lizonaplane said, the two-week (or however long the surgeon requires) pre-op mostly-liquid diet is to shrink your liver so it's easier for them to get under there to operate.

in addition, some insurance companies require a 3-6 month professionally-supervised diet. I think this is to see if you are able to stick to a plan long term. I lost a ton of weight on mine, so if it was supposed to prove to them that I could lose weight without surgery, then I wouldn't have been approved. I do think it's to show you're committed and can stick to a plan.

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Yeah, I think it's mainly to test your compliance.

I'm currently going through a long stall despite careful logging, and I'm so afraid I'm going to be judged as non-compliant and be rejected for surgery. 😨

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Posted (edited)

It’s also to start to break some of your food cravings & get through the withdrawal side effects of stopping caffeine, sugar, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. as required by your surgeon. You don’t want to be experiencing those side effects while you’re you’re managing post surgery effects.

Good luck.

Edited by Arabesque

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16 hours ago, catwoman7 said:

I think this is to see if you are able to stick to a plan long term. I lost a ton of weight on mine, so if it was supposed to prove to them that I could lose weight without surgery, then I wouldn't have been approved. I do think it's to show you're committed and can stick to a plan.

I think this is true. It's also true that people who lose significant weight before surgery are statistically more likely to have less regain than those who don't. Maybe part of it is metabolic reset, or changing your gut microbes?

I lost over 50 pounds in the 6 months leading up to my surgery.

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Yeah, i think it varies widely among insurance providers. I didn't have a pre-op diet to adhere to other than the 2-week liquid one.

Suffice it to say, I lost zero weight “pre-op”, but did lose 11lbs during the 2-week liquid one.

I dunno if this strategy will dictate my long term success or failure…I guess only time will tell.

P.S. I’ll be 3 years post-op in October and have been maintaining my weight pretty steadily for over 2 years.

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I think there is another secret reason they require it: The pre-op weight loss requirements in general were the only diet I have ever stuck to in the past because I knew that surgery could be canceled if I didn't follow it. That is a great way to basically force you to start losing weight earlier, and to get you to your goal more quickly. They can hold that over your head in order to jumpstart your weight loss before, along with all of the other benefits like the shrunken liver etc.

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4 minutes ago, Maribelle76 said:

I think there is another secret reason they require it: The pre-op weight loss requirements in general were the only diet I have ever stuck to in the past because I knew that surgery could be canceled if I didn't follow it. That is a great way to basically force you to start losing weight earlier, and to get you to your goal more quickly. They can hold that over your head in order to jumpstart your weight loss before, along with all of the other benefits like the shrunken liver etc.

That's exactly why they do it. They even told us that ahead of time. They demanded a strict diet months before surgery with the threat of regular weigh ins. Likewise we have to quit smoking 6 months before surgery and they said they could tell in bloodwork if we didn't. Both of those could compromise our surgery date. Of course because of the pandemic and everything being over teleconference and zoom they didn't follow through with any of it. I smoked until about a month before surgery and I fell off the diet a bunch of times. They never did a weigh in or bloodwork update since the initial one that was done when I first signed up. But I wouldn't gamble with it in case your surgical team is more diligent and strict.

The pre-op diet 4 weeks or so before surgery of Optifast or liquids is to shrink your liver. They say if they go in and your liver is too large it can be dangerous to proceed and they may close you up and not do the surgery. They also said alternatively they can choose not to go in through micro incisions and have to do an old school incision that is much larger to move the liver if it's too big. Either one sounded serious so I did stick to the shake diet prior to surgery.

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What is the purpose of the pre-op diet?
Not the liquid diet just before the surgery, more of the general diet I hear people are asked to go into.
Is it to show that you are seriously committed to sticking to lifestyle change?
Or is to to show that dieting doesn't work for you?

To shrink ur liver so they can move it n easier to work around

Sent from my SM-G975U using BariatricPal mobile app

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I started this adventure a month ago, meeting the DR. etc. I was asked to replace one meal a day with a Protein Drink. When I finally get scheduled (depending on COVID now hospitals are not taking elective surgeries) two weeks prior to surgery a completly liquid diet. He wants me to drop 20 lbs prior to scheduling my appt. You must shrink your liver to make it easier for the surgery.

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