Very low energy diets (VLEDs) are often used to achieve weight loss in preparation for bariatric surgery, but do they play a role for patients undergoing non-bariatric surgery? Tune into this podcast with Senior Complex Obesity Dietitian, Sally Griffin, as she shares her research and experience in implementing VLEDs as part of a multidisciplinary approach. In the episode, Sally discusses which patients can benefit from this protocol, how to ensure the VLED is safe for higher risk patients, and the importance of monitoring and supporting patients along the way. Sally also shares general patient attitudes and adherence rates, how to work with surgeons to improve patient outcomes, and her top tips and resources for dietitians interested in this approach.



Sally Griffin is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and current PhD Candidate at Queensland University of Technology. With over 10 years clinical experience, Sally is currently the Senior Complex Obesity Dietitian at Logan Hospital, where she designed and implemented the successful Preoperative Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) Clinic for non-bariatric surgery patients, which has now been implemented across multiple hospitals and has attracted international attention. Sally’s research focus is on perioperative care for patients with complex obesity, and she is passionate about the integral role of dietitians in this specialist area. Sally has received multiple awards for her research and is considered the leading expert in Australia on the use of VLCDs to optimise patients with obesity for elective, non-bariatric surgery.


In this episode, we discuss:

  • What VLEDs are and how long patients usually follow one
  • The current evidence to support VLEDs prior to non-bariatric surgery
  • How patients typically feel about the approach and the adherence rates
  • Important outcomes to monitor while a patient is following a VLED
  • How to collaborate with surgeons to improve patient outcomes


Griffin, S. B., Palmer, M. A., Strodl, E., Lai, R., Burstow, M. J., & Ross, L. J. (2021). Elective Surgery in Adult Patients with Excess Weight: Can Preoperative Dietary Interventions Improve Surgical Outcomes? A Systematic Review. Nutrients13(11), 3775. MDPI AG.
Griffin, S.B.Ross, L.J.Burstow, M.Desbrow, B. & Palmer, M.A. (2021). Efficacy of a dietitian-led very low calorie diet (VLCD) based model of care to facilitate weight loss for obese patients prior to elective, non-bariatric surgeryJ Hum Nutr Diet 34188198

This podcast is not, and is not intended to be, medical advice, which should be tailored to your individual circumstances. This podcast is for your information only, and we advise that you exercise your own judgment before deciding to use the information provided. Professional medical advice should be obtained before taking action.  Please see here for terms and conditions.

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