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Will my liver shrink????

on 1/10/08 4:44 pm - Palm Harbor, FL
Hi all! I am 18 days away from surgery and on a Atkins diet before surgery to shrink my liver.  I don't understand how this will work....I eat fatty, low/no carbs foods all day long?  I eat meats, cheeses, eggs, mayo, salad, etc..  Does this work?   My doc said "do low carbs, but don't eat a pound of bacon"..... so is what I am doing ok?  How can I get rid of the fat in my liver if I am eating fat???   PLEASE HELP! Thanks everyone!  I don't know what I would do without this place!  =) Akis
Danielle H.
on 1/10/08 5:11 pm - Atlanta, GA
I'm not sure how it works medically, but basically when you are eating less, your liver shrinks.  My dr wouldn't operate on me unless I had lost weight presurgery and I wanted to ensure it happened so I gradually turned a meal into liquid, then two and then did 4 days of liquid the week before my appt with him!  I did mostly protein drinks, soup, water, etc.... I would still stick with low fat options - thats what most people do after surgery anyway - it's an adjustment to how we eat in addition to how much we eat.

High Weight 260, Surgery Weight 218,  Lowest Weight 156, CURRENT WEIGHT 177, Goal Weight 140

Breast Lift /Back Lipo 10/2008
LBL (Belt Lipectomy with Fluer de lis cut TT) 2/27/09 (Dr. Dennis Smith) (Dr. Sheldon Lincenberg)

on 1/10/08 9:08 pm - TX
VSG on 12/20/07 with
Okay, so, what happens is every pound you lose, your liver shrinks a little, and low carb is the fastest and easiest way to lose weight.

Also, your liver keeps glycogen stores (thats misspelled, but it sounds like it) in your liver. After three days of low carbs, your liver gives up that glycogen store, and shrinks that way. , my blog :-)
on 1/11/08 8:08 am - Sweden

Fat does not automatically turn to fat in the body - that is kind of like thinking that if you eat broccoli, you will turn green.

The principles behind low-carb diets are that fat and protein satiate hunger much better, and for much longer, than do carbohydrates, and are metabolized into glucose much more slowly. So, even though a gram of fat contains 9 calories and a gram of carbohydrate contains 4, you will generally need far more grams of carbohydrates to feel satisfied than you would if you were eating only fat (and who the heck sits down and eats a block of butter, anyway?). It is much harder for the body to metabolize protein and fat to glucose (and thus, eventually, store the calories as fat) than it is to metabolize carbohydrates into glucose, which happens almost immediately.

The glucose causes insulin to be released, and in most obese people, that means too much insulin (due to insulin resistance) and the insulin is what causes the extra calories (extra as in beyond the calories you burn during the day, even simply to breathe) to be stored as fat. It must be said, of course, that no matter what you are eating, if you are eating more calories than you need, you will gain weight. A high protein, high-fat diet promotes reduction in calorie intake in part because it staves off hunger (rather than stimulating hunger, as carbohydrates do), but, yeah, if you gorge beyond hunger (i.e., the pound of bacon your doctor mentioned).

I would try to stay away from processed meats like bacon and deli meats (almost always made with sugar, by the way) if you can, and stick with whole, natural sources of fat and protein like regular meat, cheese and eggs, and try to limit fluid milk, which is high in lactose (milk sugar) - and the lower the fat content, the higher the lactose, by the way. 

I don't think you should worry too much, because your doctor knows what he/she is doing. If you follow the advice you were given, you should be fine.

Good luck!

Why can't my inner fashionista and my inner feminist just get along? Ros-mari

on 1/11/08 10:06 am - midlothian, TX
My doc does a protein shake diet, that and water, thats it.  The loss of ANY weight significantly improves the liver, so they mainly want you to lose weight, let your body start taking some of that fat out of the liver.
"At the worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing a a life unlived."-R.Macaulay
on 1/12/08 12:43 am - Humble, TX
I weighed 316 pre op and was told to do a 3 day pre op liquid diet, to shrink my liver. after surgery my doc said my liver was normal, and prior to the liquid diet, i ate normal ( everything)
on 4/8/08 9:30 am - Cincinnati, OH
RNY on 04/21/08 with

My Dr wants me to follow a 2-week liquid diet. I mean am I really that fat!  Come On you gotta be kidding me!!!! I have heard some same their Dr says 3-4 days or less. Then what the HELL is My DR doing!?!?! Anyhow. I am really struggling. Any suggestion are welcomed, because I am a MEAT person, No reality check! I AM A FOOD PERSON! I love food, but can no longer continue to be OVERWIEGHT, BUT I don't know if I can manage being on a liquid diet knowing hopw much I am addicted to meat, andstuff. I need help!! If anyone out there can relate to what I am going through please HELP! I am only on Day 2 and feel like I am not going to be able to make it for another 8 days! HELP!!!

on 10/7/08 5:25 pm
on 12/30/08 6:02 am
I know what you mean! 2 weeks is a long time to do the liquid dance!! i have to do it for 2 weeks as well.  i'm on day does get a little easier day by day.  i was starving the first 3 days.  yesterday afternoon was much better...i added sugarless protein water which helped.  i know besides losing weight, they also do it to menuever better around during surgery.  mine is laproscopic lap band so he needs to have room to the put the band in.  anything laproscopic for WLS i guess they want the liver to shrink.  i know it stinks....and i think it's the hardest part of this...but today is a holiday staff party and i'm having a cup of white bean chili (surgeon approved) and maybe a couple other little things....but after more cheating :)
it does get easier (especially when you feel better in your clothes)

Banded 1/9/09
starting weight
pre-op diet

1st Fill (3cc's)    271        2nd Fill (4.5cc -adj. 4cc)    260     3rd fill 5.5cc     250
4th Fill 234-6.5cc             5th Fill 219-7cc        6th Fill 205-7.15cc     7th Fill 195-7.30cc
8th fill  190-7.55cc...lost track :)       Current:180ish
on 12/6/10 8:13 pm
VSG on 01/06/11 with
My doctor has told me to do a 3 week pre-surgery liquid diet!!  I'm a bit nervous as I start it on December 16, 2010, which is now about 9 days away.  I was told that it is to shrink the liver as well. I work in a hospital and have access to the ultrasound department.  I'm going to have someone measure my liver before I start it and then again 3 weeks later just to see the difference.  That will be pretty interesting to see I think.  

on 12/16/10 4:34 am
I would be curious to see that too.... I wonder how much my own liver shrunk before my surgery.... I had a VSG Dec. 14th of last year. And to this day I still use the pre-surgery diet after a "binge" weekend. I feel better when my system is cleaned out. And it does work!!! I gain about 8 lbs on a big holiday weekend from all the sugars I know I am not supposed to eat, but with 2 weeks on liquid protein I can off set that and usually get back on track. I just make sure now that My "binge" weekend will be worth the 2 weeks. It does get easier though. My 1 year surgery anniversary was earlier this week and at my weigh in I lost 150lbs!!! So I saw your post and just wanted you to know it is possible and it will work.... Good luck and let me know how it goes...
on 5/4/12 1:24 pm - OK
I would ask your surgeon in plenty of time before surgery. It would be awful to go in and be told you couldn't have the surgery. Yours is the only case I have heard of a diet like yours. Nothing even close to it.
on 5/4/12 4:01 pm
Well you have to follow your doctors advise........ but 3 Premier Protein shakes will meet the criteria too, they are under the daily maximum carbs under Adkins diet and will serve you very well to slow down your metabolism, its always shocking to go from 2,000 calories a day to ZERO, overnight, for those first 3-4 days post op.... (160 calories X 3 and about 3 net carbs each, less carbs then a salad)

IMO this is a much better pre sleeve surgery, "Adkins style" low carb diet then all that stuff you mentioned... a good warm up for whats to come...   Either way your going to get sleeved, YEA.....good luck with your surgery....

Premier Protein® Shake

Premier Protein Shakes: Available in Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry, 11 oz.

  • 30g Protein
  • 160 Calories
  • 1g Sugar
  • Low Fat
HW: 425    SW: 337   CW: 262 GW: 217 (surgeon)  
Pre-surgery loss; 88 lbs (mostly in my required 6 month insurance class)
on 5/17/13 11:27 am

Good afternoon everyone, I am scheduled for my gastric sleeve 5 JUNE 13. I am so excited but scared too. I am dreading the low carb high protein liquid diet. I am right at 200lbs and 5'2 and the reason I was approved for the surgery is because of my high blood pressure, GERD, hypothyroidism. I have been doing a lot of research and found some articles that don't support to liquid diet before surgery. I am considering only doing a version of the Atkins diet. Does anyone have any advice on this? Thank you

on 5/17/13 12:32 pm, edited 5/17/13 12:34 pm
VSG on 04/02/13

you want to do low carb/no sugar, and little to NO FAT.  like as little as humanly possible, and no saturated.  of course there will be some in the meat you are eating, but only eat lean and do not cook with oil or butter (bake, broil).  processing fat is what inflames the liver.  the low carb /calorie is to help get rid of the fat around your liver.

For your meats, try to stick the fish and eggs which are higher in omega3 fatty acids vs omega6. omega 6 fatty acids in oils, wheat, nuts ... these increase liver inflammation and shoudl be avoided 100%.

atkins diet IS NOT good for your liver in terms of surgery prep or liver health.  a low carb, low fat diet is.  lots of water and a good portion of low carb vegetables will help prepare you liver also.


HW: 407   Final Appointment : 376   Pre-op Diet Start: 367   SW: 350 (Apr2/2013) Add me on MFP


on 5/17/13 12:38 pm
VSG on 04/02/13

atikins diet IS NOT good for your liver.  very low carb/no saturated fat/low fat is good for your liver.  atikins diet is way to much fat, and is high in bad fat.  it's not good, at all, certainly not pre-surgery 


HW: 407   Final Appointment : 376   Pre-op Diet Start: 367   SW: 350 (Apr2/2013) Add me on MFP


on 12/16/10 5:51 am - Mexico
Revision on 12/06/06 with
Atkins diet is perfect for liver issues.  As someone else explained we don't get fat from fat, we get fat from carbs.

Doctors always refer to a couple of weeks of low carb as a liver shrinking diet and I think it is because they don't want to take the time to explain.

A couple of weeks of a LSD isn't going to shrink your liver one little bit.  To shrink your liver it takes weeks, if not months.  BUT... what the diet does do is remove the slime from your liver.

When you cut out carbs your body begins to absorb something called Glycogen.  Glycogen is a carbohydrate that is stored in your liver and muscles.  It produces a slime that looks and feels a bit like snot on the surface of your liver.  They have to hold your liver out of the way during stomach surgery and if it's covered in snotty glycogen it merely makes it harder for the surgeon. If it is harder for him it's less safe for you.

There is NONONO value in a low carb liquid diet over a low carb solid food diet.  There is value over a low carb solid food diet over a low carb liquid diet because people are more likely to follow it.

Fat is not your enemy, carbs are.  Are you aware that you need a little fat in your diet to burn fat?

Previously Midwesterngirl

The band got me to goal, the sleeve will keep me there.

See  my blog for newbies: