Why See a Dietitian Before Weight Loss Surgery?

Updated: Mar 19

Deciding to have weight loss surgery is a big decision and requires a substantial lifestyle change.


Having support from a range of health professionals can help to navigate through your options and decide what is best for you.


Why should you add seeing a dietitian to the list?

Seeing a dietitian before surgery and for follow up afterwards has been shown to improve nutrition status and maximise long-term weight loss (1-3).


What does a visit to a Dietitian look like?

Your first visit to a dietitian will likely include collecting information about your medical history, discussing your motivations for surgery, talking through your current eating patterns and answering any questions you may have about nutrition.


If needed, it will involve working through any dietary habits that might impact the success of your surgery.


Other benefits of seeing a Dietitian:

  • Gradual changes to your lifestyle before surgery can make the transition a lot easier and more successful

  • Clear up any confusion about food texture requirements following surgery and get useful food tips to maximise protein in your diet (protein is important for recovery and reducing muscle loss)

  • It is a chance to have your nutrition reviewed and to reflect on your eating habits with support, advice and no judgement

  • You can get tips and tricks for eating hurdles or symptoms that may pop up following surgery, so that you feel prepared if they happen

  • Have accountability to keep you on track and maintain useful habits in the lead up to surgery and beyond


Your dietitian is here to help and support you to be as prepared as possible!


References:

1. Kulick, D, Hark, L, Deen, D. The bariatric surgery patient: a growing role for registered dietitians. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110(4): 593-9

2. Kushner, R, Neff, L. Bariatric surgery: a key role for registered dietitians. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110(4): 524-6

3. Shannon, C, Gervasoni, A, Williams, T. The bariatric surgery patient: nutrition considerations. Growing Epidemics 2013; 42(8): 547-552.

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