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Diet before Bariatric Surgery

While most people know that their diet will change for life after they have weight control surgery, few realize that they may have to alter how they eat before surgery, too. Chances are your doctor will want you to lose weight before you undergo bariatric surgery.

It is not uncommon for a doctor to ask that you go on a special diet to lose as much as 8% of your body weight before bariatric surgery. There are several reasons for this. First, losing weight can help reduce the size of your liver. Having a smaller liver makes the surgery easier for your doctor. If you lose weight before surgery, it can also mean smaller incisions, which will heal more quickly and have less scarring.

Your insurance company may also require that you diet before bariatric surgery. Often, they will require that you spend 6 months on a weight loss plan before they will pay for the procedure.

Additionally, there is some evidence that people who lose weight before surgery have more success with weight loss afterward.

What sort of weight loss program you will pursue before surgery will depend on you and your doctor. In most cases, you will be asked to reduce your daily caloric intake to 800 to 1200 calories a day in the weeks before surgery, and make sure that you consume plenty of protein. Additionally, for one to two weeks before surgery, you may be asked to stay on a liquid diet. A healthy liquid diet often includes weight loss shakes and smoothies, which can be purchased at any supermarket in the Warner Robins area.


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