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Pre-Gastric Bypass Liver Shrink Diet

author image Hannah Rice Myers
Based in Jamestown, Pa., Hannah Rice Myers has more than 10 years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in the health industry. Many of her articles have appeared in newspapers, as well as "Curing Epilepsy: Hope Through Research." Rice Myers received her master's degree in nursing from Upstate Medical University in 2001.
Pre-Gastric Bypass Liver Shrink Diet
Weight Loss Photo Credit: ChiccoDodiFC/iStock/Getty Images

Gastric bypass, one of the most frequently performed bariatric surgeries in the United States, is an option for severely obese people -- those weighing a minimum of 100 lbs. Many risks accompany this surgery, some of which you can prevent by following a special diet to shrink your liver prior to undergoing the procedure.

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The Purpose of a Liver Shrinking Diet

As you gain weight and fat, the size of your liver increases. The purpose of a liver shrinking diet, also known as a pre-operative gastric bypass diet, is to reduce the size of your liver through weight-loss. Doing so makes your procedure easier to perform, reducing the risks associated with your surgery. If your doctor feels your liver is too large after following a pre-operative diet, he will most likely postpone the surgery until your liver has shrunk to a healthier size, according to

Setting Weight-Loss Goals

Your surgeon determines the amount of weight you need to lose prior to your gastric bypass surgery. He bases his decision on your overall health and current weight. While you might need to lose 10 or 20 lbs., another patient might need to lose 10 percent of their weight; it varies according to your personal situation. Most people having gastric bypass surgery begin their diet two to three months prior to the procedure.

The Pre-Operative Diet

Losing your weight usually requires liquid diet protein supplements in the form of protein shakes, or a calorie-restricted diet. Your diet is low in refined carbohydrates high in sugar such as soda, white bread, white rice and pasta. Low-fat is another requirement, along with low-carbohydrate intake. The emphasis is high protein -- between 70 and 120 g, while you consume between 800 and 1,200 calories each day.

Additional Benefits of Your Diet

Aside from shrinking your liver, your doctor places you on the pre-operative diet to prepare your body for what is to come. The extra protein you consume preserve your muscle while eating fewer calories -- a large reduction in calories can cause your body to burn muscle for energy rather than fat. Cutting back on carbs, fats and refined sugar while increasing protein helps prepare your body for the recovery period after your surgery. The pre-operative diet also helps prepare you for what you will eat after your gastric bypass is complete -- high in protein, low in carbs and low in fat.

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