Gastric Sleeve Questions and Answers

The following Gastric Sleeve questions are asked by real people like you. The answers are provided by board-certified doctors or qualified medical providers who meet our exacting standards.

Based on your case, you might stay in the hospital for 2-3 days after gastric sleeve surgery.

To understand more, read our blog post here: gastric sleeve surgery aftercare instructions.

You will recover from the surgery in about 3 to 5 days after the procedure. However, It might take longer to get back to work or return to your normal activities.

Click on this link to read more about tips for a fast recovery from gastric sleeve.

You can get back to physical activities within 2 weeks after the surgery.

Taking your doctor’s instructions into consideration, you can get back to your “desk job” several days after the surgery. If you have a physically demanding job, it might take 2 weeks before you can get back to work.

In 48 hours after the surgery, you can start walking for longer periods. Within 2 weeks, you can do light exercises such as running short intervals, yoga, etc. For more strenuous exercises like weight-lifting and gym workouts, you should wait longer and increase your activity level gradually in 3 to 12 weeks. Also, you should ask your surgeon about swimming after surgery; and wait until your incisions are healed before getting into the water. You should also stick to a workout routine to maintain a good physical health and boost weight loss after surgery.

During surgery, you will be under anesthesia and won’t experience any pain or discomfort. After the surgery, you shouldn’t feel any intolerable pain that cannot be managed, as the surgery is done laparoscopically. That is, it is performed through a couple of 0.19-inch incisions.

A week after gastric sleeve surgery, you will start losing weight. Most of your weight will be lost in 12 months after the procedure. The final results can be observed 18 months after the surgery.

On average, you will lose 30% to 70% of the excess weight and achieve your ideal weight for your height. The weight loss process is, of course, gradual. Generally, you will lose two-thirds of your weight within six months to a year after the surgery. To lose the rest of your excess weight, you are to follow the doctor’s instructions strictly. The weight loss timeline after gastric sleeve surgery looks like below:
✓ You will lose 33% of the excess weight in 3 months
✓ You will lose about 50% of the excess weight in 6 months
✓ You will lose up to 70% of the excess weight in 12 months
Most patients will stop losing weight in a year or two. By maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine, you can continue losing more weight.

After the surgery, you should consume clear liquids for about 1 to 2 weeks. We recommend that you frequently drink water, beef broth, clear soup, and milk during this period.

You should also avoid carbonated beverages or drinks that contain sugar and caffeine. From the third week forward, you can start having soft foods. That is, you can have pureed vegetables that are low in fiber as well as low-fat foods that are high in protein and cooked with minimum spices. Soup, popsicles, bananas, boiled eggs, cheese, and plain low-fat yogurt are allowed in this period. Starting from week 4, you can gradually add hard foods to your diet . Foods like boiled potatoes, chicken, fish, and cooked vegetables can return to your daily diet. It is important to note that, based on your case, your doctor will provide you with appropriate instructions regarding your diet to ensure an effective recovery.

To learn more, go to diet after weight loss surgery.

After bariatric surgery, you can get pregnant once your weight is stabilized. Generally speaking, gastric sleeve surgery cannot cause problems for your future pregnancy in itself. We recommend that you undergo the surgery, and then get pregnant. You should, however, keep in mind that pregnancy during the course of weight loss after surgery can be dangerous as it can lead to malnutrition for both mother and the fetus. To prevent this, doctors recommend that women avoid pregnancy for 18 months after the surgery. Because immediately after the surgery, your body goes through surgical stress and nutritional changes that can hinder the baby’s development .

For more information, go to 8 amazing benefits of weight loss surgery.

Before any weight loss surgery, a comprehensive assessment is required. Using endoscopy and ultrasound (sonography), the physician can make sure the body’s internal organs are in a healthy state. These medical assessments help examine inside the stomach and diagnose or treat any ulcer or Helicobacter pylori before performing the surgery. Also, ultrasound imaging can reveal abnormal or thick gastric folds, a condition that can affect the patient’s candidacy for gastric sleeve surgery. Therefore, it is for the best that you go through these medical assessments before traveling to a foreign country for bariatric surgery.

Yes. In fact, for most patients with type 2 diabetes, weight loss surgery can help control diabetes as well as leading to weight-loss. It is important to note that the patient’s diabetes should be controlled before the surgery. You should also provide a letter from a doctor of internal medicine approving that you are an eligible candidate for bariatric surgery.

To lower the risk of blood clots, it is often required that the patient starts walking a few steps within 5 hours after gastric sleeve surgery. These walking sessions must be done frequently throughout the days following the surgery. Your activity level should increase overtime as you are recovering from the surgery.

In most cases, the recovery after sleeve gastrectomy surgery does not involve bed rest. However, any activity, resting or diet program should be performed as instructed by your surgeon. You can walk for longer periods about 48 hours after the surgery; and in 3 to 5 days, you can return to your daily activities or spend time outdoors. Because the surgery is one with minimal recovery time, it is an easy procedure to do in a foreign country.

Leak and bleeding after gastric sleeve are two rare, yet possible, complications of the surgery. Thanks to Iranian surgeons’ use of suture technique on top of the staple line, the risk of such complications is close to zero. Other complications and side effects of VSG surgery such as malnutrition, blood clots, saggy skin, etc. are extremely rare; if these complications do occur, they can be easily controlled.

The success rate of gastric sleeve surgery is more than 90% if you avoid snacking. By altering your life style in accordance with your surgeon’s instructions, you can ensure that the surgery will be absolutely successful, helping you reach your desirable weight.

Read also: myths and facts about weight-loss surgery.

The symptoms of leak after gastric sleeve are rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, stomach pain, chest pain, pain in the shoulder area , dizziness, and fever. In case you experienced these signs, seek medical help immediately. To control the leakage, the healthcare provider will endoscopically place a stent in the area.In Iran, surgeons have developed a unique method to minimize the risk of leak after sleeve gastrectomy surgery.

If you have any kind of stomach disease like peptic ulcers, you should treat the condition before undergoing bariatric surgery. Therefore, have your condition treated and then travel to Iran to undergo gastric sleeve surgery.

Skin sagging after weight loss surgery is likely to occur; some patients might seek plastic surgery due to loose skin after bariatric surgery. Saggy skin happens as a result of losing too much weight in a very short time. If there is a large amount of loose skin, plastic surgery including procedures like abdominoplasty, breast lift, etc. will be performed. Certain exercises can also boost skin elasticity. Plastic surgery can be performed 12 to 18 months after VSG surgery and with the doctor’s approval.

Just as with almost any other surgical procedure, the mortality rate for gastric sleeve surgery is less than 0.5%. Generally, death after sleeve gastrectomy is a complication of the anesthesia rather than the surgery itself.

You are required to take mineral and vitamin supplements for about six months after sleeve gastrectomy surgery. Regularly, these supplements increase the appetite. For gastric sleeve patients, however, the effects of surgery on reducing appetite outweighs that of food supplements.

Sleeve gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically and through a few small incisions. During the surgery, about 80% of your original stomach is removed and pulled through the incisions using laparoscopic instruments. As a result, your stomach will become smaller, holding less amount of food than it used to. This way, your appetite, as well as your food intake, will significantly decrease.

In addition to helping you lose weight, gastric sleeve surgery can alleviate or eliminate the complications of obesity, including high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart diseases, and high cholesterol. The surgery might also treat infertility in women.

For more information, please read things to know about gastric sleeve surgery.

Sleeve gastrectomy surgery is not an ideal option for people with hiatal hernia because there is a high risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) after the surgery. If you have hiatal hernia, you can consider opting for gastric bypass surgery. Moreover, gastric bypass surgery can be performed in conjunction with surgical treatment for hiatal hernia. That being said, some cases can undergo gastric sleeve surgery without complications. You should provide results of both endoscopic and ultrasound tests so that the doctor can select the most appropriate procedure for you.

72 hours after gastric sleeve surgery, you can fly. Frequent walking sessions and drinking plenty of water is recommended while in the plane.

It cannot. Stomach cancer usually occurs in the area where the cardia and oesophagus meet. During gastric sleeve surgery, this section won’t be affected. In fact, weight loss surgery can help lower the risk of cancer as obesity is a major cancer risk factor.

Alcohol and Tobacco can hinder healing in the inner lining (gastric mucosa) of the stomach. Therefore, you should refrain from tobacco for 3 months and avoid drinking for 6 months after the surgery.

After gastric sleeve surgery, you should stay in Iran for about 7 to 9 days.

During the surgery you will be under general anesthesia so you will not be awake nor feel anything. In the first day, you might feel moderate pain at the incisions site but it can be managed using over-the-counter painkillers. It is common and normal to experience some discomfort during the following week. However, if you feel severe pain you should contact your doctor immediately.

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