How to Prepare for What Comes After Sleeve Surgery
If you are obese, the chance of you developing a serious health condition is greatly increased. By losing weight, you will reduce the chance of these diseases developing. And all you have to do in order to lose weight is eat less and move more. But if it really was as easy as that, obesity wouldn’t be such a problem in today’s society, and the gastric sleeve wouldn’t be such a common procedure.
What Is the Gastric Sleeve?
The gastric sleeve is a form of weight loss surgery whereby as much as 85% of the stomach is removed, vertically. This is why it is also known as the “vertical sleeve”. The remaining part of the stomach has open edges, and these are stapled together, which is why it is also known as “stomach stapling”. What remains is shaped like a banana, or a sleeve, causing people to eat less, and feel full quicker and for longer. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has shown that, following a gastric sleeve, patients lose an average of 50% to 66% of their total weight. While this may sound like a miracle procedure, and it is in a way, it is important to be realistic and to also be aware of potential risks and complications.
Gastric Sleeve Complications
There are a number of potential complications after gastric sleeve surgery:
- Leakages at the staple line, which is one of the most serious complications. It can lead to a range of chronic issues and can even be fatal.
- Stretching may also happen in the stomach, which means patients start to put weight back on, particularly if their diet hasn’t changed sufficiently. If this happens, a duodenal switch or a gastric bypass is usually performed.
- Acid reflux is quite a common side effect after surgery, as is nausea and vomiting.
- Serious complications include inflammation on the lining of the stomach, wound infection, excessive internal bleeding, and pneumonia.
- Minor side effects, which tend to go away quite quickly with at home care, including swelling, bleeding, bruising, and pain.
- Nutritional deficiencies can occur, particularly if people do not follow the advice of their physician and nutritionist.
Gastric Sleeve Aftercare
Some of the above side effects and complications sound horrendous. However, the serious ones are incredibly rare. Furthermore, if you follow your aftercare plan, it is unlikely that you will experience them. The most important element of your aftercare plan is to make drastic changes to your diet and lifestyle. This means eating less and in smaller quantities, not drinking 30 minutes before eating, and consuming plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Straight after surgery, you will have to survive on liquid foods only, slowly moving on to more solid consistencies. You will have to change things permanently as well, such as getting rid of junk food, very spicy food, sugars, and the bad fats. Plus, it is likely that you will need to take multivitamin supplements for the rest of your life.