Top Ten Tips Before and After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

  • 2 years ago

Gastric sleeve surgery is a permanent weight loss surgery option that shrinks a patient’s stomach and helps them lose weight. In order to be fully prepared it is important to do the proper research on what to do before and after gastric sleeve surgery.

The following list will provide some tips on what to do before and after a gastric sleeve surgery.

Before Surgery:

1. Change your diet. Because a gastric sleeve is such a serious procedure, it is a good idea to prepare the body for living this way. Two weeks before surgery you have to start a  liquid-only diet, in order to shrink your liver and make surgery safer.

2. Change your grocery list. Making sure you can make protein-rich liquid meals for before and after your surgery; it can take a long time before you are able to eat solids. You'll need a lot of clear soups and broths, skim milk, sugar-free clear jello and Popsicles.

3. Stop smoking. Quit smoking up to a month before your surgery; it will ensure your post operative recovery is sped up and your risk of surgery-related complications will be reduced. If you do not quit smoking your doctor may refuse to perform the surgery altogether.

4. Ensure your wardrobe is suitable. This type of surgery will leave your body very tender; loose clothing is a must and slip on shoes can really help too. It's also a good idea to ensure you have some "transition" clothing, which will fit you at various stages as you lose weight. You will lose weight rapidly in the beginning so it is cost-effective to use old clothes that don't fit right now or to buy some from a charity shop.

5. Prepare your hospital bag. Gastric sleeve surgery requires an overnight hospital stay, though you will probably be resting for most of it. Pack anything you may need to be comfortable.

6. Prepare your support group. It's important to educate your family and make sure you have people around to help out during your healing process. You will need both mental and physical support throughout this journey. Your doctor may encourage you to join a support group, either in person or online, such as RealSelf. It's also important that you have a lot of support from your immediate family.

7. Arrange transportation and bring a pillow. Make sure you have transportation arranged for going home. You shouldn't be driving that soon after your operation and it will be painful. Also, take a pillow for the ride home and place it over your abdomen. Holding it somewhat tightly will help stop the pain from going over uneven surfaces and bumps in the road.

8. Get prepared. Get prescriptions early if possible, make sure the house is cleaned, laundry is done, meals are cooked and frozen ahead of time, and things like over-the-counter medication and stool softeners have been purchased.

9. Know the facts. Make sure you find out from your surgeon what a gastric sleeve surgery entails so you know exactly what is about to happen. Knowing can reduce fear and anxiety associated with the procedure.

10. Protein, protein, protein. You'll need protein after surgery, so get used to it pre-op. Take the period before surgery to find out which protein powders you do and do not like. Also, find out which protein rich foods you will be able to incorporate into your diet without adding too many extra calories and stock up your pantry!

 

After Surgery:

1. Follow the diet stages set out by your doctor. If  you try to eat solid foods too soon or begin to eat  foods high in fats and sugars, you could risk harming yourself or damaging your stomach. You will certainly experience some uncomfortable side effects such as nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps.

2. Do not go back to work until you are ready. The recovery time will vary, but generally after gastric sleeve surgery has taken place it takes about 2 weeks before a person is healed enough to work. You should also be on light duties only when you first return to work. Walking around is good exercise, but no heavy lifting!

3. Never miss your check-ups. Making sure you see your physician long into your recovery period is important to ensure you are healing correctly. It will also keep you on the right path with diet, exercise and your weight loss goals.

4. Exercise when you can. It may take some time before you can exercise fully but it is important to strengthen your muscles and get back to walking as soon as possible, so your body can strengthen and begin to cope with having less of a caloric intake per day while remaining functional.

5. Continue to educate yourself. Find new recipes you can make so that food doesn’t become boring after your surgery. Your tastes will change, so try new things or even things you once disliked; you may love them now. Your body will be a great educator, you just need to learn to listen to it.

6. Know when to ask for help. During the initial recovery phase it can be difficult to move and to get things done. Make sure you get plenty of rest and have a good support network during these times.

7. Follow your prescription. Do not try and wean yourself off of medication early. Be sure to follow your prescription and let your doctor know if you are feeling any discomfort. If you have diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure it may be that this surgery cures you. However, let your doctor make that decision.

8. Take multivitamins regularly. Before you get into a routine it can be tough to get all of the correct nutrition from just food alone. Take multivitamins to ensure you are getting the right nutrients; your doctor will be able to specify which particular vitamins you need. This will be a lifelong habit that you need to form, so start early.

9. Track your calories. Keeping your total calories at about 600-800 a day will ensure your weight loss is a success. Make sure you aren’t ingesting foods which are high in calories, sugar or fat either. Always make sure you speak to your doctor about how many calories you will need each day. They know you and your body and will give you a specific target catered to your particular needs.

10. Don't drink your calories. Only drink low-calorie drinks such as water, sugar-free juices and unsweetened ice tea. Don't drink any form of soda -- which can stretch your new pouch because of the gasses -- and never drink alcohol after surgery.

 

These tips will help out with anyone who is preparing for, or recovering from, gastric sleeve surgery. They are not meant to supersede any advice your doctor gives you but will push you in the right direction when starting the journey to a healthier you.

Comments (58)

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How soon can you fly after having the sleeve
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I'm having the sleeve done on Monday the 28the of this month I'm doin liquid diet now and have only lost 5lbs should I be concerned? Will I still be able to get surgery? I'm stressing big time
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u still be able to get the surgery done. the liquid pre op diet is just to make sure your liver shrink and your surgeon have a better access to your stomach. I had mine 6 months ago and have no regrets at all. I have lost a total of 75 pounds
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Im going to a weight loss surgery seminar with a friend who has recently gone thru her surgery and is already down 76 lbs. I saw that you are having the surgery Monday!! Congrats!! Can I ask you how long the process took to this point?
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I just had surgery on July 17 (Male 39 starting weight 363 lbs) and already I see the difference (down 10 lbs). I am still on the liquid diet and going slowly when drinking (2 oz per 10-15 minutes). I had very few problems with nausea (breathe deep and put your head back and it will pass) and no vomiting. The woman across the hall in the hospital had the same procedure and she was dry heaving her head off. She heaved so much it almost affected me by suggestion. I had to close my room door at one point. She was heaving when I checked out at 3pm the day after I had an early morning laproscopic surgery. The things that helped me… 1. Sit up in bed the first night with pillows propping you up. 2. Use the pain pump the first night but after that (next day) the pain will be more discomfort so forego the pain pump if you can because it makes you not want to eat or even get out of bed. Any unusual pain on day two should be reported. 3. The morning after my surgery they gave me a tiny bottle of water and told me to sip it. I sipped on it for hours even when I wasn't thirsty. It reassures the doctor you are ready for the liquid diet. 4. They ask you to go and clean yourself up (brush teeth, basin wash your body) and change into clean pajamas. Even if you don't want to move, do it, you will feel much better. It felt like every doctor and intern came by and after not drinking liquid for 24hrs your breath will reek if you don't brush. It reassures them that you are ready to go home if you can clean up. Like a mini test. 5. Before they discharge you they will bring you a liquid lunch tray. Less Mad Men liquid lunch and more tea, apple juice, veg both, protein water drink. Sip as much as you can. I had from noon until about 2 pm to sip and I got the juice, protein drink and veg broth down. The broth had no sodium and thus no taste so I added salt and the salt made me more willing to eat. 6. NEVER use a straw, I had two of them on my tray and I threw them in the garbage right away. They will fill your tiny new stomach with too much gas and cause you pain.
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Do public health insurance pay for surgery.
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By the way , on the 1st post. I meant June 30th not July. Sorry
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Can someone help with grocery list ideas, for when I get home?
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beef consommé, beef and chicken broth, sugar free jello and popsicles, bottles of water to sip all day long, protein shakes (lean muscle milk chocolate is good), diet iced tea, diet juice (e,g, ocean spray diet), sugar free water enhancers like Mio, chewable vitamins (centrum fruit chews can be dissolved in mouth), liquid/children's tylenol, liquid ZZZZQuill (only if you need help getting off to sleep), Protein waters (low in sugar) like Special K H20 Protein Water packets, tomato or squash soups (no solids/all puree with low carbs and fat)
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I'm having surgery on Monday the 30th of July. I'm so pumped!! I'm so happy to have found this forum. Please all tips, secrets, and knowledge welcome!!
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Hi there , I am 11 days post op. (6/11/14 was my sleeve). I am down 31lbs from 293! My question is that when should I start feeling energetic again? I walk on the treadmill for 30 mins each day, however I don't feel like I'm getting enough fluids because I feel sick most of the time. Some pointers please!!!
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I like to no all most the samething as tsteele I had the sleeve done on may 1 2014 when i was reary to come home thay way me as 271 and its ben 5 weeks today and my toldy lost was 30 lbs i lost most in the frist week. but i am stay at a stand stell . I can't do alot of walking because of the copd i have. i am 5 foot 2 weight 241 i want to get to 150 can someone tell me if i am ok with just 30 lbs so far and do you go throw wear its a stand stell.
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Do you mean you lost thirty pounds and now your weight loss has stopped? I think it's normal to have a week here and there where you don't lose. My surgeon recommends weighing once a month to allow for hormonal changes. If you're following the eating plan as you should then you will lose weight, if you're not then that could explain it. It's hard to exercise with COPD, but as you lose weight hopefully you will find it easier, the lighter you are the less oxygen your body needs. Good luck!
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Hi' need some feed back....I had the sleeve done on march 28, 2014 and I lost 14pounds in 6 days and then lost another 6 pounds in two more weeks....then went back may 28 and I have only lost 5 more pounds....so l have lost only 25 pounds in 8 weeks....and I'm not cheating.... just really upset...don't understand what's going on....my start weight was 232...now its 207 and I'm 5'4....
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Twenty five pounds is a good weight loss. Bear in mind that if you are closer to your ideal weight then weight loss can slow down, maybe take a little more exercise if you can and note down everything you eat just to make sure you're sticking to the plan. If you are it will come off, don't worry. You've done great so far!
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Can I smoke after 2 weeks of the surgery??
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NO! Smoking really interferes with healing. Wait at least 6 weeks if you must.
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Definitely not. If you can't give up smoking, which is best for you as you know, I'd agree with the commentator below, wait at least two months to allow things to heal, nicotine shrinks the blood vessels and can cause all kinds of problems, and that includes patches. Have you tried the nicotine free ecigs? Good luck.
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I had the sleeve done on may 1 i lost 20 lbs in the frist week no it seam like nothing this week is that ok
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dat song so good houw did you do dat so fast
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I need to know has anyone experience a slow weight lose before surgery. I started at 307 and I've only lost 8 pds in 10 days, where as before I lost 18 pds before my surgery was canceled in Dec and I actually cheated that time and Im actually following all the rules this time. I don't get it what is going on.
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Some of the early weight loss is water and glycogen from the liver. Post op your body is healing. Eight pounds in ten days is amazing. Imagine if you could keep that up. Stop worrying and never compare yourself to anyone else, you're doing great.
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I jst finished all my requirements & monday 2/16/14 my info will be submitted to my insurance. How long does approval take?
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