Weight gain before your surgery
Patients who prepare to undergo weight loss procedure are recommended to start preparing for the surgery way in advance. One common mistake people make while waiting for their weight loss surgery is to gain weight before the operation. This phenomena sometimes called “last supper syndrome”. Patients sometimes feel that they “are having surgery anyway” and “why not indulge before I am not able to eat”.
Unfortunately, this is a big mistake! There are several recommendations on the diet before weight loss surgery. While starving oneself before weight loss procedure should be avoided as it weakens immune system and prevents healing, gradual reduction of carbohydrate intake in 2-3 weeks before weight loss procedure has tremendous positive effects.
Decrease in carbohydrate intake before weight loss surgery can be easily accomplished by elimination all sugar-containing beverages such as soda, ice tea and fruit juice.
I do not recommend “diet” drinks either as some research shows that they contribute to weight gain as well.
Patients are also recommended to reduce their daily intake of bread, pasta and other wheat products. Rice and vegetables are OK.
The purpose of such a diet right before the procedure is to decrease the size of the liver and intraabdominal fat content. With the decreased size of the liver, there is more room in the abdomen and the operation takes less time because the surgeon can see better. The shorter is the surgery, the fewer anesthesia patients get and the recovery becomes much easier. Even 15 min reduction in surgical time can decrease nausea and other side effects after the surgery.
On the other hand, weight gain before the procedure can increase the size of the liver and make surgery very difficult which increases the chance of complication and prolongs anesthesia time.
How much weight should patients try to lose before surgery? Anywhere between 2-15 pounds in 1-2 weeks preceding the surgery would be great.