Marc M. Zaré MD: 408-358-1855Marc M. Zaré, MD, FACS - Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery
 
 
 
 

Lose Weight Before Surgery

Meal Replacement before weight loss surgery

We help all our patients planning to undergo laparoscopic weight-loss surgery to lose some weight before surgery. Sometimes we do the same with patients planning to undergo other types of laparoscopic surgery. The purpose of losing weight before surgery is not to test patient motivation or to assess whether surgery can be avoided. On the contrary, it is intended to help patients maximize their chances of successfully undergoing laparoscopic surgery. Weight loss before surgery reduces the amount of adipose tissue within the abdomen and reduces the size of the liver. This increases the working space for your surgeon and improves the safety of your operation. Weight loss before bariatric surgery is optimally achieved through a well designed medical weight loss program. We also offer this program to patients interested to lose weight independent of surgery, or those planning to lose weight before digestive or hernia surgery.

The weight loss requirement before surgery should not discourage you since almost all patients comfortably achieve this by following our recommendations, and are able to successfully undergo laparoscopic operation and benefit from its many advantages. Your adherence to our recommendation below will ensure our continued success.

This requirement should not discourage you since almost all patients comfortably achieve this by following our recommendations, and are able to successfully undergo laparoscopic operation and benefit from its many advantages. Your adherence to our recommendation below will ensure our continued success.

We encourage you to lose as much weight as possible before bariatric surgery starting from the day of your first office visit. We understand the difficulties involved in that process. That is why in addition to your own efforts we will provide you a short course of a special meal replacement solution immediately prior to your surgery. Dr. Zaré will determine the duration based on your prior weight loss close to the time of surgery, your starting weight, etc. The usual duration is two weeks. The maximum duration may be 3 months.

The meal replacement solution provided by our program has been carefully selected for your needs. It is developed under the most stringent quality management criteria after years of research and provides high quality protein and 100% of the recommended daily intake (RDA) for vitamins and minerals in five servings per day. It comes in a variety of forms including powder, ready-to-drink liquid, bar, and soup powder. Patients generally describe the products as very desirable in taste. These products are to be used as meal replacements (not meal supplements).

On the first day of use start by replacing breakfast with one serving. On the second day, in addition to breakfast replace lunch with two servings (total of 3 servings). On the third day in addition to breakfast and lunch, replace dinner with two more servings (total of 5 servings). This will provide high quality proteins with 100% of the RDA for essential vitamins and minerals. Drink plenty of water in between the servings. You will not require additional food while on this formula. If your BMI is between 45 and 50, you may use 6 servings, and if more than 50, you may use 7 servings each day. When using the bar or the soup products, limit the use of each to one serving per day due to high potassium content.

Please remember that these products need to be used under the guidance of your MD and are not commercially available in stores. The commercially available “protein shakes” do not contain the right proportion of essential nutrients and are not recommended for use before surgery. Those products are generally designed as protein supplements (instead of full meal replacements) and therefore lack important nutrients and minerals. Alternatively, they may be designed as meal replacements for non-bariatric-surgery individuals and contain wrong proportions of sugars and proteins. Use of a wrong meal replacement formula may result in abnormal blood electrolytes and may lead to cancellation of your surgery. You will be able to obtain Optifast 800® from our office during your first visit. If you are unable, please remember to do so well ahead of your surgery and no later than the second office visit.

It is important to note that in the first two days of use, you may experience craving and hunger. This sensation is normal and will typically subside on the third or fourth day. However, you may use an additional daily serving until then. Please continue your meal replacement until 1 day before surgery at which time you will switch to clear liquids.

 
Marc M. Zaré, MD, FACS
Advanced
Laparoscopic
Surgery
Marc M. Zaré, MD, FACS
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Georgetown University Hospital University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Diplomate American Board of Surgery Fellow American College of Surgeons Member Society of American Gastrointestinal & Endoscopic Surgeons Member American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery
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