Recovery After Sleeve Gastrectomy

When Dr. Jacob performs sleeve gastrectomy, he removes about 80 percent of the stomach, leaving a tube-shaped stomach about the size and shape of a banana.

Limiting the size of your stomach restricts the amount of food you are able to consume. The procedure also initiates hormonal changes that help the patient lose weight. These hormonal changes also relieve some of the concurrent conditions that accompany obesity, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

While patients are excited about the potential of sleeve gastrectomy with an experienced, board-certified surgeon such as Dr. Jacob, they also need to plan for recovery and life after this procedure.

How Much Weight Will I Lose?

Our NYC Hernia patients can expect to lose approximately 50 to 60 percent of their excess weight within the two years following this surgery. For many patients, their weight loss ebbs and flows over months, dropping, then leveling off, and then dropping again.

What Will My Initial Recovery Be Like After a Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Dr. Jacob performs these procedures laparoscopically, making your incisions very small. This makes for a much easier recovery. Most people stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days. You can usually return to work in from one to two weeks, but your energy levels will be low, so you’ll want to consider working half days or working from home.

You’ll likely be able to return to your normal activities in from 3 to 5 weeks.

Patients worry about lifting causing hernias at the incisions, but this almost never happens. You can exercise immediately, taking small walks while still in the hospital. Keep exercise to low impact for the first month.

You’ll likely experience some or all of these changes as your body reacts to the rapid weight loss in the first 3 to 6 months after your sleeve gastrectomy. These include:

  • Body aches
  • Fatigue, as if you have the flu
  • Feeling cold
  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Mood changes

What Happens with Eating After My Surgery?

After sleeve gastrectomy, your diet begins with sugar-free, noncarbonated liquids for the first 7 days. This progresses to pureed foods for 3 weeks. Regular foods will return to your diet about 4 weeks after your surgery.

To make up for the loss of nutrition with your decreased food intake, you’ll take a multivitamin twice a day, a calcium supplement once a day, and a vitamin B-12 injection once a month for the rest of your life.

What Kinds of Changes Will I Make with My Eating Habits?

You will need to adopt permanent changes in your eating habits for the success of this surgery and your future weight maintenance. Although every patient’s situation is unique, these are some general guidelines:

  • When you start eating solid foods, you’ll need to chew thoroughly. Foods such as steak will need to be ground or cut into small pieces, and then chewed thoroughly.
  • Don’t drink fluids while eating, as you’ll feel full before you have consumed enough food.
  • Eliminate desserts or foods with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients.
  • Omit carbonated drinks, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milk shakes, high-fat foods, and high-fiber foods.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Limit any snacking between meals.

What Improvements in Other Areas of My Health Can I Expect?

Sleeve gastrectomy can provide long-term weight loss, but it also works to reverse many other conditions that we due to the patient’s excessive weight. These include:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Infertility

Without the weight, you’ll also feel much different about the possibilities for activities from walking and hiking to working out to participating in recreational sports.

What Improvements in Other Areas of My Health Can I Expect?

Sleeve gastrectomy can provide long-term weight loss, but it also works to reverse many other conditions that we due to the patient’s excessive weight. These include:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Infertility

Without the weight, you’ll also feel much different about the possibilities for activities from walking and hiking to working out to participating in recreational sports.

Will I Require Follow-Up Procedures After My Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy is a single procedure. It is not reversible, and it is not repeatable. With the appropriate changes in lifestyle to accompany your change in weight, you should be able to start a new life as soon as you recover from your surgery with Dr. Jacob.

You will have follow-up appointments with Dr. Jacob, but these are intended for him to monitor your progress and make sure everything with your system has returned to normal function.

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