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What Should I Do after Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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After gastric sleeve surgery, the patient will normally spend a day or two in a hospital setting before being sent home to complete the recovery process. Dietary changes must begin immediately following this type of weight-loss surgery, as stomach capacity is considerably reduced. Following the initial healing period, a safe exercise program is strongly encouraged. Women are typically advised to avoid pregnancy for at least two years after gastric sleeve surgery. Any questions or concerns about individualized self-care after gastric sleeve surgery should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Gastric sleeve surgery is a permanent, non-reversible form of weight-loss surgery that involves the removal of a portion of the stomach in order to forcibly limit the amount of food a person can consume at one time. After gastric sleeve surgery and upon complete recovery from the procedure, more sustainable surgeries, such as gastric bypass surgery, may be performed. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia and typically involves one to two days in the hospital under medical supervision. During this time, the medical staff is available to answer any questions concerning self-care at home.

Dietary changes are vital after gastric sleeve surgery. Immediately following the procedure, the patient will be on a very strict liquid diet for approximately two weeks. Pureed foods will then be introduced for a couple of weeks before slowly transitioning to a normal diet. Healthy eating habits and portion control are extremely important after this type of surgery in order to achieve optimal weight loss and avoid potential complications.

It may take several weeks for a complete recovery to occur after gastric sleeve surgery. Once the body has healed, a mild to moderate exercise program is usually recommended. A doctor or physical therapist can help the patient create a healthy exercise program based on individual needs and limitations. Women are generally advised to avoid pregnancy for a couple of years so that the body has time to recuperate and adjust to weight changes.

Nutritional deficiencies are relatively common after gastric sleeve surgery. For this reason, routine monitoring by a medical professional is important. Any persistent discomfort or other concerns should be reported to a doctor right away to make sure there are no serious complications. This form of weight-loss surgery does not always lead to the loss of as much weight as is desired by the patient, so additional surgical procedures may be chosen later for those who have a large amount of weight to lose.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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