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Stay updated on the latest advancements and trends in nutrition, weight loss, and laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Ahmad shares his expertise and advice, giving you the tools to make better healthcare decisions.

Why Follow a Pre-op Diet?
Why Follow a Pre-op Diet?

Starting your pre-surgical diet is one of the most challenging diet changes prior to bariatric surgery. Yourfood intake is very limited, but you don’t have the restriction from your surgery yet. So why does yoursurgeon require this? Is it to promote weight loss before surgery? Or, are they just testing you? The realreason for the pre-surgical diet is to provide you with the safest surgery possible.

What does the diet consist of?

Our pre-surgical diet is a low-carb, high-protein diet. This is when you will first start using whey proteinshakes. Your dietitian will review the recommended protein shakes, then you will choose the one(s) thatyou prefer. The diet is typically followed between 1 and 3 weeks prior to surgery, based on individualneeds. It will consist of 2 liquid meals, 1 solid meal, and 2-3 snacks. Your solid meal will mainly consist ofprotein and vegetables. It is also recommended to begin taking a multivitamin during this time. Prior tobeginning the diet, you will meet with one of the Registered Dietitians to review the diet in-depth and goover all other nutrition information.

How does this help with surgical safety?

Many patients with overweight or obesity suffer from a fatty liver, which causes their liver to grow largerin size. The liver sits on top of the stomach, and when the liver is enlarged it can be difficult to access thestomach. Following a low-carb, high-protein diet prior to surgery will help to reduce the size of the liver,making the stomach easier to access. Improving your nutritional status prior to surgery may helpimprove healing post-op. It is very important to follow your pre-op diet to prevent any unnecessary risksduring surgery, and to prevent having your procedure postponed.

Following this diet may seem daunting and overwhelming, but it brings you one step closer to a healthierlife. Be sure to review all pre-surgical information with your bariatric team and address any questionsyou may have. The pre-op diet is only temporary and will bring you closer to your goals!

Michelle Murdolo, MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist currently working with Long IslandLaparoscopic Surgery to guide patients through their Bariatric Surgery and Weight Management journey.Michelle holds a Master's Degree in Nutrition and works closely with her patients located in Long Island,New York