A liquid diet before surgery is required to ensure that your intestines are empty during the procedure. Frequently, it is necessary a few weeks before a scheduled weight loss surgery. With the help of a cosmetic surgeon, you can lose weight and feel better about yourself. Your doctor might require you to undergo a liquid diet prior to surgery if you have not achieved your weight goal before the surgical procedure.
2 Weeks before your bariatric surgery, your doctor will advise you to switch to a liquid diet. Following your surgeon’s advice is significantly crucial as the operation’s success will highly depend on it. In addition, your health improvement post-op will also be affected.
What is Clear Liquid Diet?
By definition, a clear liquid diet is a process of consuming nothing else but clear liquids. It includes broth, water, and gelatin which are all easy to digest. Unlike solid foods, clear liquids do not leave any residue in the stomach, leaving it nice and clean for the operation. This diet is usually recommended to patients who are about to undergo weight loss surgery.
But because a clear liquid diet cannot provide proper nutrition such as calories, carbohydrates, fat, and many more, it should not be continued for an extended period.
What is considered clear drinks or foods?
If you are worried about the variety of drinks you can have during your diet, fret not. There are several clear drinks and foods that you can consume. It does not necessarily have to be crystal clear, as long as you can see through your drink.
Some examples are fruit-flavored beverages, flavored water, tea, Gatorade, Jell-o, and popsicles. You can even have coffee with less sugar and creamer.
The Importance of Liquid Diet
So what makes a liquid diet so important prior to surgery? It’s not just about helping you reach your goal instantly. But instead, it’s for your safety. A liquid diet allows your surgeon to perform the bariatric operation without any blockage in your stomach. Patients who are particularly obese have an enlarged liver, which might make your surgeons work a little more complicated as the liver covers the stomach.
Unfortunately, this is one of the top reasons why some surgeons opt to stop the surgery. The hindrances in the intestines and stomach make it unsafe to continue the operation.
What about nutritional concerns?
You don’t have to worry because your surgeon will indeed include protein shakes in your liquid diet. While you are on a pre-op diet, your fast weight loss may also break down your muscle mass. This is why you need to drink beverages with high protein. Specifically, you will need at least 60 grams of protein before your bariatric surgery per day.
Frankly, going through a liquid diet is no fun. There are days where you will be tempted to cheat and indulge in your favorite meal. But you can expect to achieve the weight you and your doctor have been trying to get. In short, it does its purpose.
Be sure to follow the bariatric program guidelines to ensure that your stomach and intestines are clear for your upcoming surgery.
Pre-op Liquid Diet Example
Your doctor or dietitian will most likely provide you with specific drinks to include in your liquid diet. But you can expect the following clear beverages in your diet program:
- sugar-free popsicles
- honey or sugar
- hard candy
- sugar-free drinks
- carbonated liquids (root beer and cola)
- decaffeinated tea without milk
- decaf coffee without milk
- vegetable juice
- sugar-free fruit juice
- flavored water
Full liquids will include protein shakes. There is nothing much to be concerned about because your doctor will always ensure that you are healthy even though you only consume liquid foods.
Post-Bariatric Surgery Diet
After the surgery, you will have to continue your liquid diet. Your doctor will advise you to avoid solid food and continue following your liquid diet guidelines for about two weeks. After that, you will be allowed to start a soft food diet. You can add solid foods gradually and lead to healthier eating moving forward.
Staying hydrated is crucial as well. Your surgeon will ask you to drink 96 ounces of water daily. That may seem a lot, especially for people who are not used to drinking more than three cups of water daily. Yet the goal is not to gulp it all at once, but instead, sip more liquids frequently.
Once you are introduced to solid foods again, you might need to wait for an hour before drinking water. Remember that at this point, your stomach is smaller than it used to be, hence, making its food capacity much smaller as well. It would be best if you gave your stomach an hour to digest the foods first before drinking.
Due to the lack of nutrients, a clear liquid diet can be quite risky. You should only opt to do it with your doctor’s permission.
If your doctor instructed you to start the program before a medical test or medical treatment, it would be safer to follow the guidelines precisely as it is. Failing to do so may lead to inaccurate medical test results.
Health Conditions to Consider
Lastly, let your doctor know immediately if you have diabetes, low BMI, an eating disorder, an endocrine disorder, or nutritional imbalances. Ensuring your health and safety will be your dietitian’s utmost priority above anything else.
Clear liquid diet (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/clear-liquid-diet/art-20048505)
What is the Liquid Diet Before Weight Loss Surgery? (https://weightwise.com/blog/what-is-the-liquid-diet-before-weight-loss-surgery/)