Your biggest responsibility prior to having bariatric surgery is to follow a strict pre op diet to lose weight quickly and reduce the size of your liver to make the surgery easier for your surgeon. But how can you tell if your liver is shrinking?
I’m sure you’ve been told you need to follow a special pre bariatric surgery diet, but you may not know why this is actually a critical step that you must take seriously as a patient.
One obvious reason is that your surgeon wants you to lose as much weight as quickly and safely as possible prior to surgery. There is compelling data to suggest that the higher your Body Mass Index (BMI), the greater the risk for complications to occur during your surgery.
However, there is a second reason for the pre op diet directive: to shrink your liver before your bariatric surgery.
Why do you want your liver to shrink before bariatric surgery?
All bariatric surgical procedures deal with the stomach in some capacity. As it turns out, the liver and stomach are in close proximity to one another. In fact, as you lie on the operating table the liver actually sits on top of the stomach.
This means that your surgeon has to lift and move around the liver to get to the stomach so she/he can perform the operation. So it stands to reason that the bigger your liver is on surgery day, the more difficult it is for the surgeon to perform the operation…
And the more difficult it is for the surgeon the higher the risk for complications…
You put yourself at higher risk to deal with other things after surgery instead of being able to focus on losing weight and recovering from the surgery by not complying with your pre bariatric surgery diet.
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