In preparation for surgery, your surgeon will provide diet sheets and specialist guidelines on what foods to eat and which to avoid. Diet sheets and guidelines vary depending on the procedure and provider. You will need to check with your surgeon which foods you can eat in all stages of the preoperative diet plan.
Liver Reducing Diet (LRD)
The preoperative is different from the postoperative diet plan. The aim of the preoperative diet plan is to reduce the size of your liver before going into surgery. The preoperative diet is an LRD (liver reducing diet) that reduces the risk of complications during surgery. In comparison, the postoperative diet aids healing, stimulates weight loss and provides low-calorie nutrients for ongoing weight loss. Surgeons usually advise a 2 to 4 week preoperative diet before undergoing weight loss surgery.
Examples of the types of preoperative (LRD) diet plans
- The Milk Diet
- The Under 1000 calorie diet
- The Ketosis Plan
- The Soup, Yogurt and Milk plan
- The No Dairy, No Carbs and No Sugar Diet
By keeping to the LRD guidelines your liver will begin to soften and reduce in size. In the first few days of the LRD it is possible to experience some side effects such as headaches and dizziness. However, these side effects are often not serious but a common reaction to withdrawing from the sugar (ketosis) in your system. If symptoms last for more than two or three days then you should contact your surgeon or GP to rule out anything more serious.
During the LRD stage it is important to drink plenty of water (up to three litres a day) to keep hydrated and aid the shrinking of the liver. Some people might begin to lose weight at this stage.
Adhere to the LRD as much as possible, it’s a positive step to your new future, it can be difficult at times but stay focused and you will benefit from its results and purpose.
Please seek and follow the specific guidelines from your bariatric team. Guidelines vary for individual patient needs and surgeries.