Over the past 7 years, gastric sleeve surgery has quickly become one of the most popular forms of weight-loss treatment in the world. In the short time since the procedure has been widely accepted in the medical community, research has clearly shown that it is less invasive, safer than, and just as effective as, longer surgeries such as the duodenal switch and the gastric bypass.
Despite the relative ease of gastric sleeve, it is still a major surgery that comes with its own specific requirements. Leading bariatric surgeons such as Mexico’s Dr. Huacuz stress that one of the most important adjustments a patient needs to make pre-surgery, is the adoption of a pre-operative diet plan.
Why a Pre-Op Diet?
Welcome to a New Life
It is vitally important that prospective patients prepare their bodies and minds for the enormous lifestyle changes that will accompany a weight-loss surgery such as gastric sleeve. While the demands of the surgically recommended pre-op diet will be strict, the discipline and lifestyle changes they instill will carry a patient through their procedure and into post-operative life with ease.
Ensure a Safe Surgery and Recovery
However the effects of a gastric sleeve, pre-op diet are not just incidental, in order to prevent complications and the need for costly revisions a patient may find it necessary to undergo further weight loss. Obese patients are often affected by “fatty liver”, which occurs when fat cells accumulate around the organ. Because the liver is located right next to the stomach, and surgeons have to retract it to perform gastric sleeve safely, the pre-op diet is vital in reducing the liver’s size. This greatly reduces the possibility of accidents during the operation.
The healthy pre-op diet will also cleanse your bowels and boost your immune system aiding in a quick and relatively painless recovery from the surgery.
What is the Usual Pre-Op Diet?
3 Weeks before Surgery
At this stage surgeons, such as Dr. Huacuz, will draw up a meal plan that encourages healthy eating, amongst other things they will ask you to limit junk food and snacks, and abstain from sugar, spices, heavy starches and fibrous foods. Up to 60 g of protein are recommended daily at this stage, which you find in foods such as egg, chicken, beef and whey.
2 Weeks before Surgery
From the two-week point Dr. Huacuz will ask that you switch over to softer foods and liquids for the majority of your daily diet. Nutritional foods such as yogurt, vegetable broths, protein shakes and protein mixed drinks as well as tofu and cottage cheese should make up most of your intake. For your solids, surgeons will usually recommend a small quantity of lean meat and vegetables, with a daily dose of multivitamins and absolutely no sugar or high calorie foods.
2 Days before Surgery
This close to the surgery, you will be asked to stop eating any solids altogether. Caffeine and carbonated beverages, as well as outside medications may also be halted at this point. Your diet should mostly consist of clear liquids such as broth; sugar-free jell-o and water with a small protein shake to round out your nutrition.
Hours before Surgery
From midnight before the surgery to post operation, Dr. Huacauz strictly warns patients off of any eating or drinking. This will protect your stomach from being infected by any of its contents and is especially important for anyone who deals with GERD.