Top 10 Tips For Before and After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

  • 2 years ago

Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery

Sleeve gastrectomy
is a permanent weight loss surgery option that shrinks a patient’s stomach and helps them lose weight. In order to be fully prepared and get optimal results, it's important to do the proper research on what to do before and after the procedure.

The following list will provide some tips on what to do pre- and post- gastric sleeve surgery.

Before Surgery:

Liquid Only Diet1. 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 need to start an all-liquid 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's cost-effective to use old clothes that don't fit right now or to buy some from a charity shop.

Friend Support5. Prepare your hospital bag. Gastric sleeve surgery requires an overnight hospital stay, so pack anything you thin you may need to be comfortable.

6. Prepare your support group. It's important to educate your friends and 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 also encourage you to join a support group, either in person or online, such as RealSelf.

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. 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.

Know the Facts: Talk to Your Doctor9. 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. Talking in detail with your doctor 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. Find out which protein-rich foods you'll 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 sugars and fats, you could risk harming yourself or damaging your stomach. You will certainly experience some uncomfortable side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.

Wait to Go Back to Work2. Do not go back to work until you are ready
. The recovery time will vary, but it generally takes two weeks after after gastric sleeve surgery before a person is healed enough to work. You should also take 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
. Make sure you see your physician long into your recovery period 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. This will help your body strengthen and begin to cope with having less of a daily caloric intake while still remaining functional.

Read New Cookbooks5. 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 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're 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 nutrition you need from 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 should be a lifelong habit that you form, so start early.

Food Journal9. Track your calories
. Keeping your total calories at about 600-800 per day will ensure your weight loss is a success. Make sure you aren’t ingesting foods which are high in calories, sugar, or fat. Always make sure you speak to your doctor about how many calories you need each day. They'll 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 (even diet) — which can stretch your new pouch because of the gasses — and never drink alcohol after surgery.

These tips will help 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.

Photo credits: Courtesy of Womack Army Medical Center; Some rights reserved by Prentice Wongvibulsin; Some rights reserved by Matheau Dakoske; Some rights reserved by Proimos; Courtesy of Pixabay; Photo by Paul Saraceno; Courtesy of Nutritionist Now

Comments (4,555)

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any and all recipes welcome please email me
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Good afternoon all, this weekend I told my son & wife that I was going into hospital 9/9 for a sleeve surgery. I expected to have him judge me or say that it is a foolish thing to do. Well, I am pleased to say they were very supportive. I had thought there would be an issue but all was great. I have always been one to speak my mind and I have no clue why I was so convinced he would have an issue moreover I can't for the life of me figure out that fear caused me to keep things to myself. I put myself though time of worry for no reason. just wanted to share the good stuff since I have shared the concerns. Thanks for providing a place of support, information and peace.
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Mother Mary, so happy all went well! Another step towards a healthy more positive life for you!
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Mother Mary...That is GREAT news! Now you will have the support group that you will need as you go through your journey! Please keep us posted on your progress. GOD BLESS!!!
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Good for you MotherMary wonderful that you have their support. It will help alot. My family were not as supportive but have come around now. All the best to you on this journey
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Thanks for sharing. I had the EXACT same experience. I was under the belief that if I told my friends and family before everything was set in stone (final insurance approval 2 weeks before surgery) that I would be met with fear, arguments, "just try harder to diet" comments, and a general lack of support. I did tell my sister & 1 girlfriend early on who were supportive. When I finally revealed my BIG SECRET, I was floored with the love, friendship, encouragement, and support I received from everyone. I think I was basing my anticipation of people's reactions on the general view of weight loss surgery in the 1990's, and not how it is viewed now: as a realistic tool to help when everything else has failed, not a shameful way of "giving up" because of being "lazy" or expecting a "simple solution." My biggest regret through this whole process (so far) is that I isolated myself unnecessarily from my loved ones around this big life change. If I had to do it again, I would ABSOLUTELY involve my friends and family, especially since they are all emotionally stable and supportive with everything else! It is silly what scripts we write for ourselves and expect others to follow.
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Mother happy for you, because you will get the support of those who love you and want the best for you. Keep us posted, stay strong and God Bless
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So glad! I told my brother &sister-in-law and had a positive reaction too! It feels good to be loved!
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Mother Mary, wasn't that a lovely surprise to receive that support! I'm so pleased for you.
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I told my husband & daughter right before my 1st medical meeting and they were very supportive of my decision. I also told my best friend who I thought would be supportive but that isn't the case. She feels that I should choose just to eat healthy foods or to try one of the diets available out there. Been there done that over & over. I didn't just wake up one day and state that I would get the sleeve surgery. It took me a long time to choose this. Hopefully she'll come around.
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Gia, the only people who know for me are my two bosses, mom, stepdad and sisters. I didn't tell my dad and don't plan to. When I told him I was debating a breast reduction, he suggested trying to lose weight first. I've always been very chesty so I know even with this surgery it will not completely fix that issue. I don't have any future plans to tell him I had it either. Just easier that way!
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My family knows and I have to say not to supportive they think its a quick fix and all I need to do is diet and exercize VERY FRUSTERATED!!!!!! My boyfriend has been very supportive but concerned its tough and I know I will need help and support HELP!!
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Char...Don't listen to your family!!! All of us have been in this position. If diet and exercise worked for us, we wouldn't be here! This is NOT a quick fix! Not by a long shot. It is tough...I'm not going to lie to you. CAN do this! Just listen to the doctor and the nutritionist, and do exactly what they say. Don't let anyone or anything get in your way. Do this for YOU and no one else. This is YOUR life...Live it! I pray for you to have the strength to get through this. GOD BLESS!!!
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Jrs17-I found the recipe. I think I will try this next week when I start the soft foods. It sounds yummy. Thanks.
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Toni..I'm allowed to have soft foods of that consistency now which is why I've had it. When you love to that stage, trust me it won't let you down! Maybe for this stage you can look into the Edy's Outshine fruit Popsicles. My mom bought the strawberry ones yesterday and they are so refreshing since I feel like I'm drowning in liquids. Also for your soft food phase look into Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bars. A little sugar in them but for now with the diets so limited, it's a nice treat.
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Thanks. I am going to my follow-up dr appt tomorrow so maybe he'll let me move onto next phase. All doctors have different rules. Looking forward to next phase!
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I will cross my fingers for you! This will all be so much easier for all of us after the first month! My mom had hers 3/20 and is down 86lbs and can eat many "regular" things in our portion size. Can't wait!
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I am looking into having the sleeve done and have an appointment on Tuesday for a consultation but any advice you guys can provide before my appointment I would appreciate it. Thanks
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Make a list of questions you may have. If the appointment is with your doctor, then you will receive a lot of scripts for tests to have done. Before leaving, make sure you ask the person in charge of insurance to verify that you are covered 100%. Have at least 1 phone number of a person to speak to if you have questions. When they tell you how much weight you will need to lose, make sure you clarify the amount of weight is for just your 1st month or by your surgery. Before you leave your appointment ask them if they can make your tests appointments on the same day as your next medical visit. Also, when you come home, call you primary doctor's office & if you need to get referrals going. If you can pin this page of comments to you home page. As of this past Friday, I have received so much help from these people. They have clarified so much for me just over this weekend and I don't feel so alone on my journey. Hope this helps. My 2nd medical visit is 8/28.
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Thank you for your advice I really appreciate it.
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As Gia says questions and definatley call your insurance company ask them to email you so you will have a copy of coverage also best of luck
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I also brought a notebook to write things down as they talked then asked my team I am trying to find as much out as I can so I can start to impliment some of the behavior things prior best of luck
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hello all i am new to all of this and havent scheduled the gastric sleeve surgery yet met my surgeon on friday please help im going to mass general in boston and i am open to all types of input including what types of things you all drank after surgery want the real info from real people
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Charfisher - I've found there's lots of real supportive and wise people here and it's helped me feel less worried and more excited about my choice to get a sleeve. I'm getting the band removed this Friday and then I need to wait 8 weeks before the surgeon will do,the sleeve. I'm using this time to meet people who are like me waiting and those that are just post op or even a year or so. It's been invaluable for me, and I hope you find it the same. Good luck!
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Hi Charfisher, you'll find lots of information from all the members' experiences. I'll look forward to hearing how you go.
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