The Importance of Pre Op Diet for Lap Band Surgery

Lap band surgery has become a very popular procedure for patients with severe weight issues that have tried dieting and exercise and still need help to lose weight. The lap band procedure involves the placement of a band around the upper portion of the stomach that restricts how much food the patient can consume in a meal. By eating less food each day the patient can lose the weight they need to eliminate over time. The process has been very successful in helping patients lose weight and keep the weight off as well.

Once you and your doctor have made the decision this type of procedure is right for you, you’ll need to go onto a pre op diet for lap band surgery. This diet will start to condition your stomach for smaller meals and will help you start to lose some weight before you undergo the actual surgery. This is an important step in the process and will usually begin a month or two before your scheduled surgery.

Why Is the Pre-Surgery Diet Important?

This pre op diet for lap band surgery can vary from patient to patient and is something your doctor may design with the help of a nutritionist. Most of these diets consist of much smaller portions of food than a patient is used to and will also be supplemented by a regiment of vitamins and minerals. These are added to the pre op diet for lap band surgery to make sure the patient maintains their nutritional health as they become accustomed to the new size and schedule for their meals.

Reduce Fat Deposits

The other main reason for a pre op diet for lap band surgery is to help reduce the fat deposits around the liver and stomach to make the procedure easier. This diet will also try to shrink your liver as well to make sure it is small enough to have the procedure done. The pre op diet for lap band surgery will typically be very high in lean protein to help you maintain as much muscle mass as possible before the procedure and help you with a quicker recovery as well.

Reduce Caloric Intake

Your pre op diet for lap band surgery will also be very low in calories and most of them will limit your caloric intake to between 800 and 1200 calories. This is to help you start to lose weight before the procedure and will also start to adjust your metabolism for a lower caloric intake after surgery as well. This is an important conditioning for success since you will be required to eat smaller meals after the lap band surgery. It will also help your body adjust to these dietary changes in advance of the lap band procedure.

Many patients are tempted to splurge a little before their lap band procedure and may try to indulge in some of the foods that they will have to avoid after the surgery. This is strongly discouraged and may actually delay the procedure in some cases. The best advice is to adhere to the pre op diet for lap band surgery that your doctor has provided. This will ensure you are as healthy as possible for your surgery and also help you make a speedy recovery.

Doctors usually tell their patients to follow a low -carb, low fat diet to shrink the liver and make the surgery easier. A diet like this includes very lean protein such as white fish, chicken breast, and green vegetables, such as brocolli, green beans, spring mix salad with no carbs/fat dressing. The use of protein shakes can inhance and faciliate this type of diet . Some popular brands are Unjury, Inspire and Meditrim. Hemp protein, a plant-based supplement, is also used, as it contains essential amino acids and fatty acids.

Will The Pre-Op Diet Make Me Feel Sick And Weak?

Some people may experience difficulty adjusting to the pre-surgery diet. Here is what a forum member from LapBandTalk said about her prescribed pre-op diet:

“I am on day 3 of the pre-op liquid diet (surgery on March 17). I was given 2 weeks of MediTrim and told to have 3 shakes a day or 2 shakes and 1 bar and 2 cups of veggies… I don't want to get too graphic but its bad like I have to be in the bathroom every hour. Today I changed the protein shakes from MediTrim to Hemp Protein or plant based protein. I do not feel sick anymore. I am not rushing to the bathroom anymore. However, I am starving.

Because I am not taking the MediTrim stuff I am not getting as much fat, sugar, and carbs. These shakes have less calories and way more nutrients. So tonight I had half of a serving of canned tuna (in water) when I felt like I was about to pass out. I felt so much better. Still hungry but I had some energy.”

For most people, the pre-op diet is not hard to adjust to. A very effective diet plan that is usually prescrived before bariatric surgery is Medifast. Here is what one user said answering to the previous user:

"There are specific reasons why we're put on special eating plans prior to surgery, and by making other, unguided choices, you're really compromising yourself. I was on MediFast 5 + Lean/Green for a month prior to my surgery, but I didn't have the symptoms you were describing."

It is important that you always consult with and follow the directions of your nutritionist and surgeon while on the pre-op diet.

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