How Long Will I Need to Be on a Liquid Diet for Before and After Bariatric Surgery?

I know that a liquid diet is a requirement after surgery, I've also heard that I will need to be on one pre-surgery. What I want to know is how long I'll be on a liquid diet for and what kind of liquids I'm allowed?

Doctor Answers 2

Liquid diets prior to surgery

All surgeons have different protocols for pre-op liquid diets.  Some surgeon believe that liquid protein diets shrink the liver and help to perform the surgery.  We only recommend pre-op liquid diets on very high BMI patients.  we like our patients to have a BMI of 60 or less prior to surgery.  Patients need to be on a pureed diet for 4 - 6 weeks after surgery.

Long Island Bariatric Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Special "diets" before or after gastric bypass

As surgeons we follow some general guidelines for diets before and after sugery and we all have our own "thoughts" regarding what the details of that diet should be.

For the most part, patients with higher BMI will require a liquid diet at least two weeks before surgery to help decrease the size of the left lobe of the liver. The left lobe of the liver has to retracted or moved our of the way in order to see the upper stomach. By doing a liquid diet, it is thought that the liver is easier to move out of the way since it is less bulky by decreasing its fat content. For patients with lower BMI, in other words with a BMI < 45, these patients typically require a low calorie diet.

All gastric bypass patients are required to be on a liquid diet after surgery for two weeks, what constitutes liquid is defined by each surgeon. Some surgeons require more and some less but the point here is that the new stomach will not be ready for food right after surgery and most of the time patients do not experience hunger inmediately after surgery so there is a transition phase that occurs.

Ricardo M. Bonnor, MD, FACS
Houston General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

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