Well here we are again. I thought this time i’d talk about the trials and tribulations of the pre-op diet.
Basically, the idea is you consume very little carbs and fats and your body ebters a state called ketosis where your body fuels itself through your body fat rather than the carbs in your food. The idea is that it a) gets some weight off you to help make the surgery safer, and b) it shrinks the size of your liver meaning it makes stomach surgery (where the surgeon will need to lift your liver out of the way to get to your stomach) easier.
Now, it seems like there are wildly different variations on how long you need to be on this diet for dependant on country, surgeon, patient, and possibly the allignment of the planets. My wife is on a pre-op diet for 4 weeks, and we’re just entering the final week. When she had her gastric band surgery she had to do it for two weeks. At that point she was told to have three pints of semi-skimmed milk and two low fat yogurts along with two multi-vitamins per day. This time she’s been presented with many more options including eating actual food and using meal replacement shakes.
Having done the milk diet with her I can see the pros and cons of each plan. The milk diet is simpler and there is less scope for error but boy is it draining and so boring, and your breath constantly smells like room temperature cheese. The food/shakes diet offers more variety, and is likely healthier but everything must be weighed and measured and there is always the danger of thinking “fuck it, one extra piece of broccoli won’t hurt” and as anyone who loves food like I do knows that can be a slippery slope down to “Oh shit i’ve eaten everything in the house”. Jokes aside, that can be dangerous as it can complicate your surgery, or cause it to be cancelled or abandoned.
I’ve not been able to do the pre-op diet this time through a variety of factors. But I have still tried my best to support my wife by doing all the cooking for the kids (unless i’m at work), reminding her to take her vitamins, and little things like checking if she needs me to eat in another room in case she’s struggling. There has been one interesting development in that my wife seems to be trying to live vicariously through my stomach. We went away for a weekend with friends and where I thought that I wouldn’t eat crap or drink alcohol as a way to show support she kept saying things like “Have a beer!” and “Do you want a dessert?”. So thats something to watch out for, especially as i’m prone to over eating! Im sure for other people it will be different but I think the thing that applies here is you’ve got to communicate. Speak to your other half and ask how they need you to support them. If its cooking, or doing a bit more around the house (they’ll have very limited energy), or making adjustments to what you eat then just do what you can.