Q: Why do I need to follow a diet before and after surgery?

A: Prior to surgery it is expected of you to lose between 7-10% of your body weight. The main goal of the bariatric program is to teach you to make a healthy lifestyle change – it could take quite some time to make a successful lifestyle change. By placing you on a healthy diet prior to surgery you are taking the first step in making that change.

By following a healthy diet prior to surgery we assess whether it is possible for you to stick to a diet. If you are successful at losing a small amount of weight preoperatively, the chances are that you are likely to do well post-operatively as well, when you are only able to consume tiny amounts of food at a time. If you do not follow the postoperative diet, complications could set in.

Most obese patients tend to have an enlarged liver. By following a healthy preoperative diet with enough protein, you can shrink the liver and reduce some of the abdominal fat. This will make it much easier for the surgeon to see your internal organs and perform the surgery safely. After surgery the reasons to follow a diet is much more obvious. The most important reason is to ensure that you do not get complications. The diet will also help to prevent you from getting dumping syndrome. Dumping can occur due to food passing too quickly from the small stomach pouch into the jejunum.

By meticulously following the diet will alsohelp prevent dehydration.