Losing Weight Before Surgery

If you have excess weight, Dr. Zaré often recommends that you lose some weight before surgery. For bariatric surgery patients, a standardized ten-day regimen of liquid diet is provided. For patients undergoing laparoscopic or robotic surgery of digestive system such as colon resection, a tailored approach to weight loss will be offered. Similarly, for patients planning to have a hernia repair the same approach may be undertaken.

Weight loss before bariatric surgery is specifically intended to shrink the liver and improve the working space under the liver, where stomach resides. This will ensure your surgeon has the best view of the structures and is able to complete the procedure without any difficulty. Any amount of weight loss is acceptable, but a range of 10-20 lbs is recommended.

Weight loss before laparoscopic or robotic digestive surgery similarly improves the working space in tight spaces such as the pelvis, where colon and rectum reside, and thereby helps reduce the chance of an open procedure. Weight loss also reduces the risk of post-operative surgical site infection, which is particularly important after colon resection.

Weight loss before hernia surgery reduces incidence of recurrence of hernias. In addition, all other benefits listed above apply to these procedures including better visualization and lowering the risk of surgical site infection.

When patients lose weight, they also improve their blood pressure, blood sugar, and boost their immune system. As a result, they are more medically fit to undergo surgery and receive anesthesia.

The meal replacement solution provided by our program has been carefully selected for your needs. It is developed under stringent quality management criteria and provides high quality protein and 100% of the recommended daily intake (RDA) for vitamins and minerals. It comes in a powder form, ready to dissolve in water. Patients generally describe the products as desirable in taste.

These products are to be used as meal replacements, not meal supplements. On the first day of use, start by replacing breakfast with meal replacements. On the second day, in addition to breakfast, replace lunch with meal replacements, and on the third day replace all three meals. In the first two days of use, you may experience craving and hunger. This sensation is normal and will typically subside on the third or fourth day. You may use an additional daily serving until then. Drink plenty of water in between the servings. You will not require additional food while on liquid diet.

Please remember that these products need to be used under the guidance of your MD and are not recommended for use without supervision. The commercially available “protein shakes” do not contain the right proportion of essential nutrients and are not recommended for use before surgery. Use of a wrong weight-loss formula may result in abnormal blood electrolytes and may lead to cancellation of your surgery.

Sometimes, in combination with liquid diet, patients benefit from a visit to a registered dietitian in order to modify lifestyle and make better food choices. We will be happy give you a referral to one of the dietitians working with our practice.