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How Long Does It Take to Recover from Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

If you are classified as obese and are struggling to lose weight using a combination of diet and exercise, you may be thinking about bariatric surgery to support your efforts. There are varying types of weight loss surgery, and your bariatric surgeon in Long Island will be able to advise you on the best procedure. One of the most popular weight loss procedures is gastric sleeve surgery.


 

What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?


Gastric sleeve surgery is sometimes called a sleeve gastrectomy and is one of the most popular forms of bariatric surgery. In a sleeve gastrectomy, a large portion of the stomach is stapled off and removed. This effectively turns the stomach from a pouch shape into a sleeve shape. The benefit of this is that because the stomach isn’t bypassed, nutrients from food can still be absorbed in the normal way. Nevertheless, since patients are not able to eat as much food, they will still need to take supplements to ensure that they achieve optimal health following their surgery.

 

Gastric sleeve surgery is extremely effective, with patients achieving up to 70% excess weight loss. With the right adjustments to their diet and lifestyle, patients have been shown to be able to maintain this weight loss indefinitely. However, the success of your procedure will be affected by many things, including your preparation for the recovery period.


 

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Gastric Sleeve Surgery?


Post-Bariatric surgery, as with any surgical procedure, you will need to allow yourself time to heal and recover. You will also need to think about your long-term recovery and adjusting to a whole new way of eating. Many bariatric surgeons advise patients to think of their gastric sleeve recovery in different stages.


 

Stage One


This generally refers to the immediate recovery period in the first few weeks after your gastric sleeve surgery. Most patients will need to stay in hospital for up to 72 hours following their procedure so that they can be monitored to make sure no complications occur. You’ll be given pain medications and advised when to take them and will be supported as you start moving around again. This is important to prevent blood clots and stimulate blood flow which will kickstart the healing process. You’ll also be shown how to take care of your wound and advised when you are likely to be able to go back to work, which is usually within 2 weeks of surgery.  

 

The biggest adjustment will be to your diet, which will be explained to you by Dr. Thompson at Clarity Surgical. It’s worth remembering that your body won’t be used to the sudden drop in calories, so you will likely feel fatigued, hungry, and experience mood swings as your body adjusts.


 

Stage Two


After the first few weeks, you should find that your wound is healing well and is much less painful than before. You should also be able to resume some light activity with the permission of your bariatric surgeon. This could involve walking and light housework, but you should not start lifting weights or doing anything physically exerting.

 

At this point, you will be able to slightly increase the amount of food you are eating, and this should improve your energy levels. Again, Dr. Thompson will guide you through what and how much you should be eating – you won’t be back on solid foods just yet!


 

Stage Three


Several months after your gastric sleeve surgery, you should be feeling physically recovered from the surgery. Your wound should have healed, and you will be able to do most, if not all physical activities. At this point, you will be able to introduce solid foods to your diet, although you will still be consuming a very low number of calories each day which will support your continuing weight loss.

 

Many surgeons will recommend that you find a support group of other bariatric patients to help you as you go forward. You may find that you are craving certain foods that you enjoyed prior to your sleeve gastrectomy that is no longer feasible. Having a support network can help you to overcome any food cravings and keep you on track towards achieving your goal weight while adjusting to your new lifestyle.

 

 

For more advice on recovering from a gastric sleeve, or to schedule a consultation to see if you are a candidate for this popular bariatric surgery, contact our knowledgeable team at Clarity Surgical and Weight Loss Solutions in Rockville Centre or Huntington Station, New York. Call us at (516) 259-2525 to schedule your consultation today!