Gastric sleeve surgery or sleeve gastrectomy is one of the most popular weight loss surgeries in the world due to its high success-rate.
The procedure involves reducing the patient’s stomach size so they naturally feel less hungry. This leads to fewer calorie consumption as the patient gets fuller sooner, with no constant hunger pangs.
If you’re considering undergoing gastric sleeve, you might be wondering how long the surgery takes, how long is the recovery, and whether you are a good candidate for it. In this comprehensive post, you’ll find everything you need to know about the duration of the sleeve gastrectomy and the subsequent recovery.
What is gastric sleeve surgery?
During this procedure, the bariatric surgeon will remove a portion of your stomach, leaving the remaining part in the shape of a ‘sleeve’ or a banana.
As your stomach size is reduced, your ability to eat huge amounts of food also goes down. The gastric sleeve not only limits the amount you can consume, it also changes the way your hunger hormones (ghrelin) work. So, you’ll experience less hunger pangs and you’ll feel full more quickly than you did before the surgery.
Reduced consumption of food, coupled with 15-30 minutes of exercise regularly, results in a huge weight loss where you can expect to lose 50-90% of your excess weight within a year.
If you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or more, and you can’t seem to lose the extra pounds even while maintaining healthy eating habits, gastric sleeve can be a perspicacious option for you.
In addition to weight loss, morbidly obese people also experience several other key benefits after undergoing gastric sleeve, including remission of type 2 diabetes, reduced risk of heart disease, and improvement in weight-related problems like sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis.
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You’ll also be able to do all the physical activities which lead to increased fitness and energy, including swimming, bicycling, running, dancing, and more. This can result in enhanced self-confidence and body image.
How long does the gastric sleeve surgery take?
The actual procedure in the surgery room will take around 90 minutes to 2 hours. However, it’s better to talk to your surgeon about this because the duration can vary from patient to patient. If you are suffering from some serious medical ailments, the surgeon may require more time to perform the procedure with minimal risk of complications.
How long does the recovery take?
After your surgery, you will need to stay in the hospital for 1-3 nights for monitoring purposes. This is just a basic precaution. The majority of patients are discharged within two days, unless they are suffering from medical complications which is rare.
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How soon will I see results after my gastric sleeve surgery?
Again, it varies patient to patient, but if you follow the dietary guidelines recommended by your doctor, you will see significant results within 2 months.
Most patients lose almost all of their excess weight by the end of the first year after surgery. Eating a nutrient-rich diet and exercising regularly will help you maintain your new body shape for decades to come.
What to Expect: Gastric Sleeve Procedure
During your initial consultation, your bariatric surgeon will assess you to make sure you are fit for the surgery. This can include x-rays, full body scans, and blood tests. A skilled and experienced weight loss surgeon will also talk to you about your long-term outlook of the surgery.
This is to ensure that you’re not one of the patients who think gastric sleeve procedure is a miracle pill that will work its magic on its own, without your contribution. The truth is, when patients don’t change their eating habits or mindset after the surgery, and they continue consuming unhealthy amounts of refined carbs (pasta, sweets, processed foods, soda, etc.) they gain all the weight back.
Your doctor may suggest a calorie-controlled diet before the operation to inhibit your cravings and reduce the size of your liver. This facilitates a safer and easier gastric sleeve surgery.
The actual surgery time may range between one to two hours.
What to Expect: Gastric Sleeve Recovery
You can expect to leave the hospital 2 days after your operation. You are likely to feel very tired and weak, which is completely normal.
You’ll start to feel comfortable doing everyday activities (such as going to the grocery store, driving, etc.) within 4-6 weeks.
Many patients experience certain symptoms for 3-6 months after their surgery; this is a result of rapid weight loss and is also normal. These symptoms can include dry skin, hair loss, mood swings, feeling cold, body ache, and lethargy.
Your bariatric team will give you detailed instructions as to what you need to do during your recovery. This may include:
- An evaluation of any medications you’re taking for obesity-related issues, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Pain medications and other strategies that help reduce pain (like daily walks).
- A workout plan to improve your fitness and help speed up your weight loss.
- A carefully tailored diet plan for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery, including advice on portion sizes.
- Blood tests to check if you need additional supplements for vitamins and minerals.
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Life After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
You won’t be able to eat as much as before your operation, so it is absolutely crucial that whatever you eat is full of nutrients. This will help you maximize your weight loss, and also improve your overall health by reducing the risk of weight-related conditions like diabetes, gallbladder diseases, breathing issues, and more.
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Women who undergo gastric sleeve should avoid getting pregnant for the first 18-24 months so their weight can stabilize. You’ll also need to schedule regular check-ups to maintain the benefits of your reduced weight.
Want to learn more gastric sleeve surgery and how it can help you achieve a healthier BMI? Contact us at Jet Medical Tourism, and we will be more than happy to address your concerns!