Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center
Why do I have to follow the High Protein Liquid Meal Plan before surgery? The most important reason to following the liquid meal plan before surgery is weight loss. Weight loss before surgery will shrink the size of the liver. This allows for the surgeon to see the stomach better. Some studies of shown before surgery weight loss shortens OR times time as well. Weight loss before surgery reduces your risks of developing complications by lowering your BMI. In addition, if you have diabetes, the liquid plan will help to improve blood sugar control.
Will I feel hungry? Since you will not have a tool working for you, you may feel hunger. This is expected and normal. You will likely feel real physical hunger and also “head hunger.” Head hunger is the wanting to crunch or snack on certain types of foods. Do your best to stay busy-focusing less on the hunger.
What do I do if I feel hunger? You can expect to feel a certain amount of hunger and will have to manage with this. With excess hunger, you may consume an additional high protein liquid drink between meals.
How do I expand my variety? The reality is that your variety will be limited while following the high protein liquid plan. Your surgical weight loss dietitian has provided you with a list of acceptable liquid drinks. The variety is limited, but remember this is only for a short period of time. Stay focused on the positive results of weight loss!
How will my surgeon know if I follow the plan or not? The goal is to have weight loss. Following the liquid plan will guarantee a significant weight loss in a short period of time. Your surgeon will be able to evaluate your ability to follow the plan by the weight loss you have before surgery.
Can I have a last meal? It is NOT recommended to over indulge before surgery. High blood sugars the morning of surgery may result in a canceled surgery. Focusing on having a “last meal” is missing the bigger picture of surgery.
You should try to consume 60-80 grams of protein per day. Most protein drinks have between 10-15 grams for every 8-11 ounces.
Avoid drinking ½ hour before your meal and ½ hour after your meal so you are able to tolerate the full 8 ounces of protein drink.
Drink slowly or SIP, SIP, SIP. It should take you 30 minutes to drink up to 8 ounces of fluid; it is common to feel “full” after drinking only 4-6 ounces immediately after surgery. Stop your “meal” after 30 minutes.
Avoid all carbonated fluids. Carbonated fluids may stretch your new stomach and can be very uncomfortable (GAS).
Do not chew gum.
Do not graze between meals. If you are hungry between meals, limit your snacks to 8 oz of milk or 4 oz of a protein drink.
Do not use a straw to sip your fluids; doing so can lead to extra air accumulating in the new stomach causing discomfort.