The question of “Is a pre operative diet and weight loss important?” No. This is the short answer. In a previous blog, “Weight Loss Before Weight Loss Surgery?” I have gone into further detail about why I don’t require a pre operative diet and weight loss program.
More recently there has been a concerted effort by a number of major health plans to require 3-6 months documented pre operative diet attempt prior to authorization for weight loss surgery. Furthermore, there are surgeons who would mandate a 10% weight loss as a precondition for the patient to have a weight loss surgery, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy for example. The overwhelming scientific literature fails to support any direct correlation between preoperative weight loss and the outcome of the weight loss surgery.
Some surgeons require preoperative weight loss as a way to reduce the size of the liver. I’ve personally have never met a liver I couldn’t work around unless it was severely diseased.
There is some literature to support this position. However, one has to critically look at all the studies. Almost all the studies have very specific population and procedures that are being looked at. Most often the recommendations had been made for adjustable gastric banding procedures. There are also some that are recommending the same for Lap Sleeve cases only siting the reduction of the liver size as a reason for the Very Low Energy Diet as a precondition to surgery. It is, however, important to remind ourselves that there is no long term studies whatsoever that show any relationship between the preoperative weight loss and the outcome of any weight loss surgery.
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