Have you undergone or are you considering undergoing gastric sleeve surgery? On this page, we cover the gastric sleeve surgery recovery process.
Every surgical procedure is unique in its recovery expectations and requirements. Gastric sleeve is also called the vertical sleeve gastrectomy. The Gastric sleeve is a restrictive weight loss procedure that creates a fuller feeling sooner, limiting how much food the patient can eat at one time. What this process involves is creating a vertical sleeve in the stomach. After removing part of the stomach, the entire gastric sleeve is only the size of a banana. It is important to consider gastric sleeve requirements before undergoing surgery. Planning ahead is an important part of making sure that recovery is as smooth as possible. Here are some of the most important considerations when it comes to gastric sleeve recovery.
Before the Procedure
- Make dietary changes. The dietary changes that occur as a result of the gastric sleeve procedure can be intense. The best way to prepare is to make the necessary dietary changes ahead of time and gradually. Most physicians are going to recommend that patients switch to liquids-only diet two weeks before the surgery, view our pre-op diet for gastric sleeve.
- Smoking cessation. Anyone who is currently smoking will be advised to cease as early as a month before the actual surgery date. The reason for this is because it will reduce the potential for surgery-related complications while speeding up the post-operative recovery time. Some surgeons will outright refuse to perform this type of surgery on a patient who refuses to quit smoking.
After the Procedure
- Expect some discomfort. Some pain and discomfort are going to occur after the surgery. During the first week following your surgery, you may need to take pain medication prescribed by your physician. There are a couple of different types of pain that may occur, including tenderness and pain around the site of the incision, and tenderness in the stomach because you will be getting fuller faster.
- Understand and avoid dumping syndrome. Dumping syndrome occurs when food empties into your small intestine more quickly than it should. This can cause shakiness, diarrhea, and nausea. It can also make it possible for the body to lack proper nutrition because the nutrients in the food are not absorbed properly. As such, you must follow the diet that your physician sets for you to the letter, especially in the first few weeks of recovery after the procedure. You can begin to add solid foods to the diet over time, but you need to grow accustomed to chewing thoroughly, and to stop at the first signs of fullness. It can take some time to get used to eating much less than you did before.
- Educate yourself on the entire recovery process. What you can and should expect will change from day-to-day. The first day will be the most difficult day and the day where the diet is the strictest because you can only have clear liquids while you recover. Many patients feel more pain between days three and six. The surgeon will give you a particular diet in which you are to follow to make sure that you are recovering as expected. During the initial recovery, your diet will be primarily liquid, but then you will be able to add in increasingly solid foods until you move to complete solid foods. It is important to start small and works your way up as you learn which foods work well with your stomach and how much you can handle.
- Activity will be slow for a while. This is not only because you will be recovering from an operation, but also because while you are adjusting to the new diet, you will feel tired and sluggish. You will have to grow accustomed to changes in your diets, the nutrients that your body absorbs, and also how your digestive system works before your energy is going to improve. Your physician is going to recommend how much activity you should be getting on a daily basis during the first few weeks of your recovery.
Follow the Guidelines After Surgery
Your doctor will lay out guidelines for you during your gastric sleeve recovery process. It is important that you go over all of these guidelines before and after the surgery so that you make sure to follow them completely. When you are undergoing a serious surgery that drastically impacts your digestive ability and your nutrition, following all directions to the letter is imperative for your recovery and ongoing health. You must take all gastric sleeve surgery recovery guidelines set forth by your surgeon and physician seriously.
If you have any additional questions regarding the gastric sleeve surgery recovery process, you may contact us at any time.
Guide to Gastric Sleeve Surgery: