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In order to reduce the amount of fat around the liver and spleen, a preoperative liquid diet must be followed for 7-21 days before bariatric surgery. The average length pre-op diet is for 14 days. If this diet is not followed, then surgery may be delayed or cancelled intra-operatively (during the procedure).

I can’t stress enough how important it is to follow the pre-op diet.  This is the time to focus on your health and getting physically and mentally prepared for surgery.

A large liver prevents Dr. Verboonen from visualizing certain anatomy during the procedure. If the liver is too large, it then becomes unsafe to perform your bariatric surgery.

Please refrain from eating or drinking anything from 10pm the night prior to your procedure.

The  pre-op diet includes the following elements:

  • High Protein Shakes will be the diet’s primary component (3 per day).
  • Only sugar-free beverages are allowed (sugar substitutes are okay).
  • Soup broths may be consumed (unlimited).
  • V8 and vegetable juice are acceptable (1 to 2 times per day).
  • Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese may be consumed (3 cups per day).
  • Sugar Free Jello and Sugar Free Popsicles are acceptable.
  • One daily serving of lean chicken, turkey, fish or shrimp together with non starchy vegetables – i.e.  lettuce, cucumbers, green beans, kale, arugula, spinach, etc.  

All beverages and liquids should be sipped very slowly. Beverages should not be consumed with meals, and the patient should wait at least 30 minutes after a meal before consuming any type of liquid.

Separating your liquids and solids applies post-operatively (after surgery) but it is a good habit to start pre-operatively.


During the pre-op phase (prior to surgery) your body will go into ketosis. This allows your body to use your fat stores as an energy source. The result is the fat in your liver shrinks considerably in a short amount of time. As seen above, your diet is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Below are some suggested high protein powders.  They are designed to specifically meet the health needs of those who have undergone bariatric surgery.

Plant based proteins are the perfect match for anyone facing digestive problems. They contain fiber and digestive enzymes, which help ease digestion and absorption, leaving your stomach relaxed and satisfied. Plant proteins are also hypoallergenic, meaning it’s very unlikely your body will respond negatively to them. If you want a carefree, worry-free option that you know won’t give you tummy issues, plant protein is the way to go.


The following medications are typically stopped 1 week prior to surgery and may require tapering down the dose.

  • Coumadin
  • Steroids
  • Other anti-coagulation medications
  • Aspirin

If you have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine, plan on bringing it to the hospital. Purchase vitamins and supplements and protein powders in advance of surgery.


Recommended Supplements for patients undergoing bariatric surgery:

Bariatric Multi-Vitamin -Easy absorption and easy on the stomach

Bariatric Vitamin D-3 – improves bone density and promotes bone growth

Bariatric Fiber Supplements – Keeps food moving through your system and helps Support a Healthy Digestive System

Bariatric Biotin – linked to improved hair and skin health and reduced hair loss

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