As the obesity epidemic continues to spread not just across this country, but the world as a whole, gastric surgery is becoming increasingly common. As a result, different types of procedures are also being developed, through which specialists hope to achieve better overall results. Each procedure uses different methods, has different recovery periods and more. It is vital, therefore, that you research gastric sleeve procedure information before you agree to go under the knife. Naturally, your surgeon will also provide you with a lot of information in terms of how to prepare yourself and what you can expect. Make sure you read this and learn from it.
Information about the Procedure
A gastric sleeve procedure is always performed in a hospital or specialized clinic, as are all forms of bariatric surgery. You will usually be placed under general anesthesia, which means you will be put fully to sleep. As such, you will be unconscious and won’t know the procedure is actually happening.
Your individual situation will dictate the specifics of the procedure itself. Your surgeon will have determined that the gastric sleeve is the most appropriate to you. You must also find out what the specifics of the doctor’s or hospital’s practices are, as these can vary. Some surgeons make large incisions in your stomach, whereas others opt for laparoscopic procedures. Laparoscopic methods, whereby only a small incision is made in the bellybutton, are now the most popular option. A small instrument shaped like a tube will be inserted into your abdomen. Attached to this is a tiny camera that allows the surgeon to operate on the site. This type of surgery is preferred because it leads to less scarring, fewer complications and a faster recovery time.
You can expect to be in surgery for a few hours. You will then wake up in a recovery room, where you will be fully monitored by medical staff. Once you have recovered, you will be moved to a ward. Expect to stay in hospital for between three and five days to recover fully.
After you have had your surgery, you will usually be unable to eat for around two days. This will give your stomach the opportunity to heal. After that, you will be placed on a rigid and restrictive diet for 12 weeks. You will generally start with a fully liquid diet before moving on to soft, ground up foods. Finally, you will be back on regular foods. Usually, there will be limits and restrictions on what you can drink and eat for much longer, perhaps even for life.
You can also expect to be checked up on regularly during the first few months. This will ensure your health is improving following the surgery. Checks will include examination, blood tests and more.
Your body will start to rapidly lose weight, and you must be prepared for this. The first three to six months are likely to include:
- Flu-like symptoms, including tiredness and body aches.
- Dry skin
- Feeling cold
- Mood changes
- Hair thinning or even loss