A healthy, high-protein diet before a gastric banding procedure is a critical component of the entire process of this bariatric procedure. There are numerous benefits related to this pre-operative diet including:
Reduction of body fat
Decreasing fat around the abdominal mid-section is helpful for ensuring the safety of bariatric patients. The abdominal mid-section is the site where gastric banding is performed. Reducing the fat in this area will make the surgeon’s job easier.
Preservation of lean body mass
Increased protein intake helps preserve and protect muscle tissue. A reduced calorie diet with increased protein will stop the body from using muscle tissue as a source of energy and make it burn fat instead.
Reduction of the size of the liver
A strict pre-op diet shrinks the liver by reducing glycogen stores. It is common for those suffering from obesity to have enlarged livers due to large amounts of body fat. Reducing the size of the liver enables better surgical access to the stomach and will shorten the time involved with the procedure. This is a crucial factor in reducing complications associated with gastric banding.
Preparation for post-surgery recovery
The pre-operative guidelines suggested by bariatric surgeons and dieticians are designed to provide the body with helpful nutrients, vitamins and minerals to cope with the nutritionally demanding post-bariatric recovery period. It also lays a firm foundation for an optimal healing process.
Preparation for post-surgery diet requirements
Significant changes in eating habits and dietary choices are required following gastric banding. The pre-operative dietary guidelines are a training ground for the changes that will need to be followed to achieve the best outcomes for this procedure long-term. A low-calorie, high protein, and low carbohydrate diet will need to be adopted for a lifetime following gastric banding.
The average pre-operative diet
Most bariatric surgeons will place patients on a calorie-restricted diet or recommend liquid protein diet supplements such as protein shakes before a gastric banding procedure. The average pre-operative diet consists of 800 to 1,200 calories a day and 70 to 120 g of protein. Patients are typically advised to avoid refined sugars and minimize their intake of saturated fat, dietary fat, and carbohydrates.
A surgeon may request that a pre-op diet begins 2 to 3 months before surgery to promote weight loss. A full liquid protein diet for two weeks before surgery may be recommended to prepare a patient’s body for the transition that will occur following the procedure. Some surgeons require patients to lose 10 percent of their body weight before gastric banding. Weight loss preceding bariatric procedures has been shown to lower the risks of complications.
Following recommended gastric banding, pre-op dietary guidelines are critical for a safe and efficient surgery outcome. The diet may seem intense, but it does prepare the body for the drastic changes it will experience following gastric banding. A competent bariatric surgeon may postpone the date of surgery if there are concerns regarding safety.
Guide to Gastric Banding (Lap-Band):