Commercial very low energy meal replacements for preoperative weight loss in obese patients: A systematic review
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This systematic review assessed feasibility and effectiveness of preoperative meal replacements to improve surgical outcomes for obese patients.
PRISMA guidelines were followed and electronic databases searched for articles between January 1990 and March 2015.
Fifteen studies (942 participants including 351 controls) were included, 13 studies (n = 750) in bariatric patients. Adverse effects and dropout rates were minimal. Ten out of 14 studies achieved 5–10 % total weight loss. Six of six studies reporting liver volume achieved 10 % reduction. Endpoints for perioperative risks and outcomes were too varied to support definitive risk benefit.
Commercial meal replacements are feasible, have minimal side effects and facilitate weight loss and liver shrinkage in free-living obese patients awaiting elective surgery. A reduction in surgical risk is unclear
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