A tool to aid dieting

Liver shrinkage diet

Your bariatric provider will usually advise you to follow a pre – operative diet (unless your BMI is relatively low). Unfortunately each provider tends to have different guidelines regarding what diet to follow and how long to follow it for. However the reason for this diet is the same – to shrink the liver ready for surgery.

Obesity is usually associated with an enlarged fatty liver. Since the liver lies across the stomach it can be more difficult to perform your surgery if the liver is enlarged. A large liver can make it difficult to see the gastro – oesophageal junction and this is necessary to perform your procedure. A fatty, enlarged liver may also bleed more easily and rupture if it gets damaged during surgery.  Both a calorie and a carbohydrate restriction is needed to shrink the liver. This depletes the glycogen levels that are stored in the liver causing it to reduce in size. At least 2 litres of water must be taken daily to prevent dehydration and help to reduce some of the side effects caused by this diet

You must follow the guidelines you have been given. These are likely to be one of the following:

  • A strict calorie and carbohydrate controlled diet but just using normal healthy food. This is likely to involve a lot of weighing and measuring to ensure you don’t exceed the guidelines you have been given
  • A Meal Replacement diet – these are very low calorie diets whereby you replace your meals with a product such as Cambridge, Lighter Life, Slimfast or Celebrity Slim
  • Milk and yoghurts – your calorie and carbohydrate levels will be made up purely from a combination of ordinary milk and commercial yoghurts. Some surgeons believe that the liver texture is better following this pre – operative diet


Remember to take a multivitamin and mineral supplement whilst on these diets if your chosen pre – operative diet isn’t well balanced. Check if your provider advises this but here at BandBoozled we think this is necessary (obviously if you have any medical conditions that means this isn’t allowed then always follow your doctors guidance)


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