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Two Weeks Before Surgery

Pre-surgery liquid diet starts 2 weeks before surgery.

Three rules:

  1. Stop all solid, soft or pureed foods. 
  2. Only choose liquids that are listed. No other fluids are allowed.
  3. Surgery can be delayed if pre-surgery liquid diet is not followed.

Why a liquid diet?

This diet is also known as the liver shrinking diet. Your liver needs to shrink to make your surgery safer, so to do this, you must limit calories and carbohydrate to allow the liver to shrink. Your dietitian will give you your specific goals during your consult.

Meals and fluids must only consist of the following:

Water-based fluids

Water Crystal Light
MIO Dasani Water Enhancer
Sugar-free Koolaid Generic equaivalents

Fluids with carbonation, caffeine or calories are NOT allowed. Only have four to six 8-ounce servings of water-based fluids per day, between high-protein shakes.

To promote hydration, one 8-ounce decaf tea or decaf coffee per day is allowed.

Liquid meals

High-protein shakes Protein supplements

Protein supplements must include:

  • 20 to 30 grams of protein
  • Less than 5 to 7 grams carbohydrates
  • Less than 3 to 5 grams fat

Your supplement needs will be individualized with your dietitian on your visits. You can use ready-to-drink protein shakes or powdered protein, but will receive specifics on how many shakes you can mix with water, skim or 1% milk, light soy milk and unsweetened or light almond milk.

Optional snacks

8 oz. sugar-free gelatin Sugar-free popsicles Sugar-free Propel or Powerade Zero

No broth of soups allowed during this phase. No substitutions allowed.


  • 8 oz. serving = one cup
  • Contact your dietitian if you experience vomiting or diarrhea
  • Continue taking supplements (multi-supplement, calcium and iron, if prescribed)