Do I have to drink Optifast® before my bariatric surgery?


The Ontario Bariatric Network  physicians and surgeons have selected Optifast® as the pre-surgical meal replacement beverage of choice for patients prior to their bariatric surgeries. We ask that patients use this beverage prior to a bariatric surgery to prepare their bodies for a safer surgery.

Optifast® provides a controlled amount of protein, carbohydrate and fat as well as vitamins and minerals to support basic nutrient needs prior to surgery. Following Optifast® as directed will result in reduced liver size. Some patients may also experience modest weight loss. Both of these results ensure that the surgery is safer for the patient and the surgeon.

Alternative meal replacement beverages or protein shakes are not appropriate for use during the pre-surgery period. They may not contain the same nutrient profile as Optifast® and may not offer the same benefits prior to surgery.

What are the effects of not following Optifast® as directed? Well, the surgeon may not be able to perform the surgery as planned, due to difficulty maneuvering a larger liver. Further, the body physiology prior to surgery may lead to poor weight loss outcomes and poor nutrition status after surgery.

Commit to your health now and in the future. Your bariatric team has your best interests at heart. Talk to your nurse practitioner, dietitian or surgeon if you have a concern about Optifast®.