Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is a weight loss surgery involving removing a portion of the stomach to create a smaller, banana-shaped stomach. This procedure is becoming increasingly popular due to its effectiveness in helping individuals who are struggling with obesity achieve significant weight loss.
If you are considering gastric sleeve surgery, it is important to understand what to expect before and after the procedure.
Before Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Before undergoing gastric sleeve surgery, it is important to take several steps to prepare your body for the procedure. This includes:
Consultation with a Bariatric Surgeon
The first step in the process is to consult with a bariatric surgeon. They will evaluate your medical history and current health status and assess if you are a good candidate for the procedure. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and discuss the procedure in detail.
Prior to the surgery, your surgeon may require several medical tests to evaluate your overall health status. This may include –
- Blood test
- Chest X-ray
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Other diagnostic tests
Diet and Exercise
Your surgeon will typically recommend a low-calorie diet and exercise program to help you lose some weight before the surgery. This is essential as it helps to reduce the size of the liver, making it easier for the surgeon to operate and minimizes the risk of complications during surgery.
Generally, your surgeon will advise you to follow a diet plan two weeks prior to the surgery. You will have to avoid the following meals:
- Carbonated beverages, etc.
Gastric sleeve surgery is a life-changing procedure that can affect a person’s mental and emotional well-being. A psychological evaluation will help determine if you are mentally prepared for the procedure.
Quit Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking and alcohol consumption can significantly increase the risk of complications during surgery. Therefore, it is important to quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption at least two weeks before the procedure.
After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Once you have undergone the procedure, the following steps will help you recover and adjust to your new lifestyle:
After the surgery, you must stay in the hospital for a few days to monitor your recovery. You will be given pain medication during this time, and your healthcare team will monitor your vital signs.
You will be on a post-operative liquid diet for the first few weeks to allow your stomach to heal. This will be followed by a soft food diet for a few more weeks before you can gradually start eating solid foods.
You must schedule regular follow-up visits with your surgeon to monitor your progress, ensure that you are healing properly, and evaluate your weight loss progress. During the first year after surgery, you can expect to attend four to six follow-up meetings. The visits are then planned at six to twelve months intervals indefinitely.
Regular physical activity is important for maintaining weight loss and overall health. Your surgeon will recommend a physical activity plan tailored to your needs after the surgery.
Your stomach will be much smaller after the operation, and you can eat smaller portions. You will need to modify your diet to ensure you get the proper nutrition and avoid certain foods that can irritate your stomach.
Gastric sleeve surgery can be a life-changing experience that significantly impacts a person’s mental and emotional well-being. It is important to have a strong support system, including a therapist or counselor, to help you cope with the emotional and psychological challenges that may arise.
In conclusion, gastric sleeve surgery is an effective weight loss solution for individuals struggling with obesity. However, preparing both physically and mentally before the procedure and following a strict recovery plan afterward is important to ensure the best possible outcome.
Stages of Noticing Weight Loss
The stages of noticing weight loss can vary from person to person, as everyone’s body and weight loss journey is unique. However, there are some general stages that many people go through as they lose weight:
- The initial drop: This is the first stage of weight loss, where you may notice a rapid drop in weight due to a decrease in water weight and glycogen stores. This can occur within the first week or two of starting a weight loss program.
- Plateau: After the initial drop, you may experience a plateau where your weight loss slows down or stops. This can be frustrating, but it is a normal part of the weight loss process. It is important to continue with your healthy habits and be patient.
- Continued progress: As the plateau stage ends, you may start to notice consistent weight loss over time as you continue to make healthy choices and stick to your plan. This can be motivating and encouraging.
- Clothes fitting differently: As you lose weight, you may notice that your clothes start to fit differently. You will need to go down a size or two in clothing, which can be a significant milestone.
- Increased energy: You will become more physically active and may notice increased energy and stamina. If this happens, you will be able to do activities that you previously found difficult or even impossible.
- Improved health: Losing weight can have numerous health benefits, such as improved blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes, and better joint health. These improvements may become more noticeable as you continue to lose weight.
- Maintenance: Once you have reached your weight loss goal, it is important to maintain your healthy habits to prevent regaining weight. This can involve continuing to eat a healthy diet, staying physically active, and regularly monitoring your weight.
It is crucial to remember that losing weight is a journey, and each person’s journey is unique. These phases may pass through some people faster or slower than others. The secret is to stick with your plans and recognize each victory along the road.
What to Expect 3 Months After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
The first 3 months after gastric sleeve surgery is crucial for weight loss and recovery. Here is what you can generally expect during this period:
Gradual Introduction of Solid Foods
After a few weeks on the liquid diet, you will gradually introduce solid foods into your diet. Your surgeon or dietitian will provide a specific meal plan tailored to your needs.
In the first 3 months after surgery, most patients can expect to lose between 20% to 30% of their excess weight. The amount of weight loss varies from person to person and depends on several factors, such as starting weight, adherence to the diet plan, and physical activity levels.
Potential Side Effects
Some patients may experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation during the first few months after surgery. These side effects are usually temporary and can be managed with medication and dietary changes.
Gastric sleeve surgery is a life-changing experience that can impact a person’s mental and emotional well-being. During the first 3 months, you may experience changes in your mood, body image, and self-esteem. It is important to have a strong support system, including a therapist or counselor, to help you cope with these changes.
Overall, the first 3 months after gastric sleeve surgery are critical for weight loss and recovery. Following a strict diet plan, engaging in physical activity, attending follow-up appointments, and seeking emotional support can help you achieve your weight loss goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle.