Your Nutritional Goals Before Lap-Band Surgery

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The Lap-Band®, or Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band, is a surgical procedure that restricts the stomach’s capacity. It is an effective procedure for treating obesity, and it is gaining in popularity in the United States. There are multiple considerations that must be observed, which include behavioral, dietary, and lifestyle changes. A patient must adopt these changes both before and after surgery to be successful. This will contribute to long term weight loss and overall health and well-being.

Diet Modifications are Essential to Surgical Success

There are several weight loss strategies for pre-operative patients. Some doctors prefer patients to use a total liquid or very low-calorie diet. Others may choose to do controlled carbohydrates, and avoid the use of liquids for 24 hours before surgery. The nutritional status of the patient can dictate the method used. The dietary and weight loss team will come up with the proper plan based on the safety needs during surgery. These pre-operative diet choices are designed to help the overall outcome.

One surgical concern is the liver. Many obese patients have a fatty liver. The left lobe of the liver must be repositioned during surgery. It is situated in the area where the band will be applied. A fatty liver can cause many problems during surgery as it obstructs the view and can increase the risk of damage. The goal of these pre-operative diets is to reduce the size before surgery. In addition, making positive changes beforehand will ensure long-term success.

What to Eliminate?

Certain foods cause the human body to develop fatigue and headaches. These foods include bread and desserts. Once eliminated from the diet, those symptoms will dwindle. Also, removing them decreases the physical dependency. Patients will have a higher energy level and see an improvement in their nutritional status, which includes a smaller liver. Here is a list of foods that need to be removed from the diet before surgery:

  • Bread, Pasta, Rice, and Potatoes
  • Crackers, Potato Chips, Pretzels
  • High Carbohydrate Snacks
  • Cookies, Cakes, Pies, and Candy
  • Soda and Other Sweetened Drinks
  • Processed Foods
  • Fast Food, Fried Foods, Breaded or Sauce Laden Foods

These rules can help reduce the possibility of complications.

The Keys for Success

Remember to cut food into small pieces and chew thoroughly. Eating slowly tricks the stomach into thinking that it is full. Be sure to eliminate any distractions while eating. Also, don’t drink anything before you eat. Wait until 30 minutes after you eat to drink water. It will help to keep you full longer.

Since the preoperative dietary protocols vary, it is important to work with the weight loss team. To have the Lap-Band® surgery, it takes a strong motivation and commitment to succeed.