Bariatric Surgery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery

A sleeve gastrectomy is a safe, low risk and highly successful option for major weight loss and a good choice for people unable to reduce their weight by all other means. The benefits of this minimally invasive procedure include a shorter recovery with less pain, less time in the hospital, and a lower risk of complications. Gastric sleeve procedure and gastric sleeve revision surgery also provides a better cosmetic result, than other weight loss procedures. Patients report losing 30-40 pounds of excess weight in the first three months after surgery. In our NJ bariatric center most patients lose up to 60% of their excess weight in the first 18 months after surgery.

What to expect the first days after surgery?

  • A one to two night hospital stay
  • Immediately after surgery you will be on a clear liquid diet, and it is unlikely that you will be hungry
  • Moderate pain the first day, that will gradually improve each day.
  • You will be expected to get up and walk the second day
  • You can expect emotional ups and downs as you begin your new life. This is normal.

What to expect going home?

Pain. You will receive a prescription for pain meds to help you manage your pain at home. Most patients report the pain in the first 6 days is manageable with medication.

Food. After discharge and for the first two weeks you likely remain on a liquid diet. But your Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of NJ leading bariatric surgeon and nutritionist will determine when you can begin to incorporate other liquids. After 2 weeks you may be permitted to gradually begin to incorporate small amounts of pureed foods. It is vital that you follow your doctor’s instructions because eating solid foods can cause your staples to rupture which is dangerous.

Due to the smaller size of your stomach when you eat you will feel full sooner.  You will be on a calorie-restricted diet.  Small portions, small bites and thorough chewing will help you lose weight and reduce the risk of stretching your stomach.

Hydration and blood sugar. You need to stay hydrated and if you have diabetes it is important to check your blood sugar regularly, as you do not want to become hypoglycemic.

Fatigue. You may begin to feel fatigued because your body is not used to limited caloric intake, and you have just gone through major vertical gastric sleeve surgery.

Showering and caring for your incisions. Before you leave the hospital, you will receive instructions on how to care for your incisions. You will need to wait 48 hours after discharge before showering.

The best advice is to follow your Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of NJ surgeon’s instructions, including following your diet plan, staying hydrated, resting, walking several times a day and listening to your body. Take your time climbing stairs. You will be tired while your body adjusts to your restricted diet.

You will follow your new diet plan, and 2 weeks after surgery you will have your scheduled visit with your surgeon at Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of NJ.

Time off work is about six weeks. Combining a healthy diet with exercise will help you experience long-term success.

This page was modified on Nov 3, 2020 by Dr. Sadek (Surgeon) of Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics
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