LAP-BAND® Surgery Pre-Op Diet
Before undergoing surgery, you will be expected to start making changes in your diet. The pre-op diet plan given to you by your surgeon is designed to prepare your body for surgery and optimize the chances of a successful outcome.
The diet modifications typically focus on boosting nutritional intake and reducing the body's physical dependence on unhealthy (high-calorie, high-fat) foods. Although you may be tempted to splurge on all your favorite foods, this is not the time to let your health worsen.
The purpose of a pre-surgery diet is to:
- Reduce body fat around the stomach and liver. This will make surgery easier and safer.
- Shrink the size of the liver. If the liver is too large, the surgery may have to be postponed.
- Improve surgical outcomes and recovery. By reducing fatty triglycerides from around the liver and spleen, it can reduce potential surgical bleeding.
- Increase protein intake, which will help preserve and protect muscle tissue.
The diet changes you are asked to make before surgery will also make recovery easier, improve overall nutritional status, ease transition to the new post surgery LAP-BAND® diet, and jumpstart weight loss following surgery.
Pre-Op Dietary Guidelines
As a general guideline, LAP-BAND® pre-op diet plans are high in protein and low in calories, fats, and carbohydrates.
Individualized diets vary, but a LAP-BAND® pre-op diet plan typically includes:
- Protein intake of 70-120 grams per day.
- Calorie allowance of 800 to 1200 calories per day.
Foods to Include. Your diet will be limited as to the types of food and how much food you can eat and focused on foods that are low-calorie, high-protein, low-fat, and low-carbohydrate.
The foods often included are: protein foods (very lean cuts of beef, lamb, pork, poultry, seafood, eggs and soy); fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned, low-sodium, without added sugar); low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
A typical meal schedule may include yogurt, fruit, cereal, eggs, or oatmeal for breakfast, a protein drink for lunch, and lean meat or fish with green vegetables for dinner.
Foods to Avoid. Some foods will need to be reduced or eliminated from the diet to improve nutritional status, increase energy levels, and shrink the liver.
The foods commonly found on the do-not-eat list include: sugary foods (such as cookies, cakes, pies, donuts, and candy); high carbohydrate foods (including bread, rice, pasta, potatoes); high carbohydrate snacks (such as crackers, chips, and pretzels); unhealthy fats (such as butter, fatty meats, fried foods, and whole milk products); high-calorie beverages (including regular soda, full-strength juice, sweetened drinks, and alcoholic beverages).
The body may go through withdrawal symptoms (such as fatigue and headaches) when certain foods (such as bread and desserts) are eliminated from the diet, but this generally lasts for only a few days.
When to Start. Time frames vary based on surgeon guidelines, but you may be asked to start making changes in your diet as soon as you decide on surgery. When you get within two weeks of the surgery date, you may be required to switch to a full liquid diet with supplements of protein and vitamins.
Weight Status. Some surgeons will want you to lose 10% or more of your weight before the operation to shrink the liver and internal fat deposits to make surgery easier and safer. Some surgeons may only require that you do not gain weight during the pre-surgery process.
Follow Surgeon Instructions. Specific pre-op diet requirements vary between surgeons and patients, based on surgeon preference and health status of the patient. It is important for patients to follow the specific recommendations given to them by their doctor.
Protein supplements (protein powder, protein shake) are a common ingredient of bariatric pre-surgery diets. High levels of protein will help the body heal after surgery as well as protect muscles so that the body burns excess fat instead of muscle tissue when on a low fat diet.
- The typical pre-op diet will include 70 to 120 grams of protein each day.
To ensure adequate protein intake, the LAP-BAND® diet will rely on protein supplementation. Protein powders are designed to lower the fat content of the liver and get it healthier for surgery, optimize recovery outcomes, and promote weight loss before and after surgery. The protein powder can be mixed in with skim milk, water, fruit juice, or fat-free yogurt.
Other Pre-Op Guidelines
Before surgery, patients may also be asked to stop smoking, not use certain over-the-counter medications and prescription medications (talk to your doctor about specifics), and begin taking multivitamin and calcium supplements.