What to Expect After Surgery

The recovery from your gastric sleeve procedure involves a series of changes, both short-term and long-term, and a lifelong commitment to stick to the changes you have made.

Generally, you can expect a one or two night stay in the hospital or surgical center after gastric sleeve surgery. For several days after the procedure, there will be some soreness in your abdomen, a feeling similar to the days after doing a rigorous abdominal workout. In most cases, the discomfort can be remedied with pain medications.

Learning a New Way to Eat

Learning a new way to eat and incorporate an entirely new diet regimen properly is very important after gastric sleeve surgery. The program for reintroducing solid food differs from one bariatric surgeon to another.

You can expect the gastric sleeve post-op diet to be liquid-only for the first week following your procedure. During the next two weeks, you will be allowed soft, pureed foods. As long as everything is going well, you can expect to be able to re-introduce solid food in small portions three weeks after gastric sleeve surgery. It is extremely important that you follow the gastric sleeve post-op diet closely as it gives the staple lines on the newly formed smaller stomach time to heal properly. You want to follow the prescribed diet precisely to allow the staple lines to heal and the sleeve to be formed perfectly.

After gastric sleeve surgery, you cannot return to eating the way that you used to, even after you are given the approval to re-introduce solid foods. Your weight loss success depends on you changing the way that you eat permanently. It will not be easy and may take some getting used to over time. You will need to learn to eat very slowly, having only small servings at each meal. You will also need to be sure to chew thoroughly and swallow food only after it is less bulky and easy to swallow and digest. Drinking at the same time as eating is another change that is advised. The fluids that you drink will help to wash the food through the sleeve quickly and easily.

Proper Nutrition and Exercise

After gastric sleeve surgery, you will need to avoid consistently eating foods that are lacking nutritional value. Consuming these types of food can lead to nutritional deficiencies. You will not be capable of eating as much food as you previously did, so your body will be absorbing less nutrients than to which it is accustomed. It is recommended that you have annual checkups to help monitor your health. You may also want to consider taking extra B vitamins and a multivitamin on a daily basis. Our dietician can help you learn to make better food choices to support your health and lasting results after gastric sleeve surgery.

Immediately after receiving approval from your surgeon to resume physical activity, you should begin exercising regularly. One of the many important changes that you will need to make to your lifestyle, regular physical activity will help you achieve and maintain maximum weight loss results from your procedure and increase your energy levels. Regular physical activity will also help to decrease your body fat percentage and reduce your risks for regaining the weight you have lost. It is recommended that women try to maintain a body fat percentage between thirty and thirty-five percent and men should ideally be between twenty and twenty five percent.

Your bariatric team here at TLC will be there to support you throughout your recovery and to support you in making and adjusting to the necessary changes to your lifestyle. This support extends to both physical and emotional issues you may be experiencing during these new lifestyle changers. Our team includes a surgeon, a dietician, a nurse practitioner / physician assistant, a psychologist and in some cases, an exercise physiologist. This team of professionals is important to your continued success and maintaining your weight loss without the development of any eating disorders. Support groups may be of value to you as well, but it is important that you maintain close contact with your team so they can identify any problems immediately and treat any issues that arise early.

To ensure that you experience a successful weight loss journey and a smooth recovery you will want to be sure to choose a qualified bariatric surgeon who is experienced with the gastric sleeve surgery, such as the experienced weight loss surgeons here at TLC. You will also want to be careful to follow the gastric sleeve post-op instructions closely.

Working together, you and our team can achieve successful results and the safest, most effective care possible. Contact us today for more information on what you can expect from gastric sleeve surgery. We will be happy to answer your questions.