The Skinny on the Pre-Surgery Diet

In the two weeks before my husband’s surgery, he moved to the “liquid / protein” diet. That means three protein shakes, one sensible meal (we chose dinner), and at least 64 ounces of liquids. Basically, no sugar and no carbs.

The goal is three-fold. First, and probably most importantly, is to shrink the liver so there’s more space to maneuver during the surgery. Our surgeon mentioned that he can tell how well a person followed the diet beforehand. I imagine that has to be concerning to see someone who didn’t take this two weeks seriously.

That leads into the second goal: jump start your future. This is the time to prove yourself. You are about to under go a life-changing surgery. If you can dedicate yourself and succeed, this is a great confidence boost. It’s also time to start getting your exercise habit going. My husband thought going through this two weeks was important.

The final goal is really just a bonus. You lose some weight and go into the surgery a little healthier. My husband lost 27 pounds. His surgeon complimented him on both how good the liver looked and the weight loss.

I did the diet with him and lost 11 pounds. I wasn’t perfect because I like coffee with milk and sugar (although I cut the sugar to one teaspoon). As my husband pointed out, my liver didn’t need to shrink to get out of the way for a major surgery. I wanted to go through the diet to physically show my support. I thought it was important so I’d understand how he was feeling. I thought we could be cranky or hungry together.

Honestly, the diet wasn’t that difficult. The surprising thing we found is that we didn’t feel hungry. I didn’t even need the third protein shake that’s available as a snack.

Confession: some of our meals – maybe two or three – were not 100% sensible, but in general, we did well. If you are about the enter this stage, don’t worry. You’ve got this!

As always, good luck wherever you are in this journey.

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