Gastric Sleeve

Gastric-Sleeve-The-Sleeve-Center-1The gastric sleeve surgery essentially makes your stomach smaller and can help you to lose a large amount of weight. When patients have a smaller stomach, they feel fuller quicker. After you have this surgery, you will have to make massive lifestyle changes in the way you consume food, as well as overhaul your diet.

The gastric sleeve surgery is performed when your surgeon makes an incision in your abdomen. Alternatively, several small incisions can be made, after which instruments are used to navigate the area. This is known as the laparoscopic approach. The surgeon will remove over half of your stomach, leaving a small sliver, about the size of a banana, behind. Your surgeon will then close that area with surgical staples. Some of the benefits that a patient can get from gastric sleeve surgery include the following upsides:

  • Will spend less time on the operating table than with gastric bypass
  • Reduction of hunger takes place
  • Reduction of the need to take vitamins after the surgery
  • Gastric-Sleeve-The-Sleeve-Center-2Unlike other surgical options, there is no need to make adjustments after the surgery
  • Foreign objects are not placed in the body

Does It Work?

The average gastric sleeve patient loses about 60% of their excess weight, but these results can widely vary. However, incorporating good dietary and exercise habits into your day increases the chance that you can experience good results. Your best chances of extended weight loss will come when you overhaul your daily diet and incorporate some form of exercise into your daily routine.

The results vary from one patient to the next, so it is best to talk with your doctor about your goals and determine together what your realistic expectations for the procedure should be.

Will My Stomach Stretch?

Gastric-Sleeve-The-Sleeve-Center-3Yes, your stomach can stretch after this surgery is completed. This is because your stomach’s insides are lined with something called rugae. Rugae are folds of tissue that contract and expand according to the amount of food that is in your stomach at any given time. When the rugae in your stomach expands, a signal is then sent to your brain, which lets the brain know that your stomach is full. When rugae contracts, food gets pushed into your intestines so that they can be processed for digestion. When your stomach finally becomes empty, a hormone called ghrelin gets released. When ghrelin gets released, this lets your body know that you are hungry. When your stomach is constantly over-stretched from too much food, the signals that travel from your stomach to your brain will often get crossed.

When you continually overeat, your stomach will only send signals of satisfaction to the brain after it is overly stretched to its limit. Your stomach may also send hunger signals to your brain when it is still filled with food. It is for this reason that many people find it extremely difficult to lose weight and keep it off for an extended period of time. One bout of binging will not cause your stomach to permanently expand. But a continual cycle of binging and overeating can lead to weight gain. To learn more about how the size of your stomach contributes to weight loss, talk to your doctor.

Eating After the Surgery

Gastric-Sleeve-The-Sleeve-Center-4For approximately the first 30 days after the surgery, your body will only be able to handle soft foods and liquids. During this time, make sure that you drink water to stay hydrated. Some patients may notice irregular bowel movements. This is common. It is important that you try to avoid constipation, so don’t strain when you go to the bathroom. Eventually, you will be able to eat solid foods again. During this time, you should take great care to chew your food well and pay attention to your body’s signals when they tell you that you are full. This may be a process, because you will feel full after eating a lot less food than you did before the surgery. Those patients who do not chew their food properly or stop eating after they are satiated may deal with nausea or discomfort.

After the surgery, you will also want to avoid high calorie foods and drinks such as juice or junk food. If the stomach gets stretched after the surgery, you will not benefit nearly as much as someone who followed a healthy eating plan. It may be a good idea for you to see a nutritionist. A certified nutritionist can help you plan healthy, nutrient dense meals that will aid you in your weight loss journey. Potential gastric sleeve patients should note that they will probably need to take vitamins and supplements for the long term.

The eating plan that you need to follow after the surgery can vary according to your current health and lifestyle Your doctor will provide you with the specific instructions that you need to follow after your procedure. It is very important to follow these instructions carefully and to also contact the office if you find that you have any questions during the process.

Recovery

Gastric-Sleeve-The-Sleeve-Center-5There may be some pain in the abdomen area, as this is the place where the surgeon made the incision. This discomfort can usually be alleviated with pain medication. You may also have to limit physical activity for the next 4 to 6 weeks. If you opted for laparoscopic surgery, the recovery time is usually faster.

Your doctor can tell you exactly what to expect based on the procedure that you had. If your doctor has guidelines that you should follow regarding physical activity, exercise, work, and medication, it is important that you follow these instructions carefully in order to have the easiest time with recovery and also see the most optimal results with your weight loss.

To learn more about gastric sleeve and the other types of weight loss surgeries, contact our office today to schedule a consultation. After going over your medical history, current weight, goals, and more, your doctor can help you determine which procedure, if any, would be the best fit for you.