Gastric sleeve surgery is one of the most common weight loss procedures available today. It’s highly effective and has also been shown to lower the rate of post-operative problems. During the procedure, the surgeon reduces the stomach size by 50% to 85%, which will change your overall digestion process and cause you to eat less. This is a permanent change that will change your digestion and put you on the path toward eating less and feeling healthier.
What happens during the gastric sleeve surgery procedure?
Gastric sleeve surgery doesn’t involve any sort of “rerouting” of your digestive system, and there are no ingestible or implantable devices used, either. Because your stomach is significantly reduced in size, it simply cannot hold the same amount of food that it once did. Your smaller stomach will only hold about 2 – 4 ounces of solid food at a time, which means you’ll feel full quicker and ultimately, lose weight.
After surgery, your digestive system will need some time to recover, so you’ll need to change your diet to help keep things operating smoothly. Monitoring your intake of carbohydrates, sugars, and fats are important. Here are some important dietary tips:
- Don’t eat too much too fast. It’s important to chew thoroughly and make sure that only small pieces of food are entering your stomach. If you don’t chew well, you may experience pain and your body may not process dense proteins as it should. This could lead to a condition called frothing.
- Avoid foods high in starchy carbs, sugars, and saturated fats. Due to the smaller stomach size and the anatomical changes to how the pyloric muscle functions, these foods can leave the stomach pouch quickly and ‘dump’ into the small intestine. This can lead to something called gastric dumping.
- Say goodbye to carbonated beverages. Carbonated beverages are off limits for people that have undergone gastric sleeve surgery. The carbonation will react with the digestive enzymes in the stomach and cause gas. It will also allow for larger portion sizes and this will stretch the pouch long term and cause difficulty.
- Create a plan. Our team at WeightWise is committed to helping your surgery be a total success. We will work with you to develop an individualized plan that can help you succeed in shedding unwanted pounds. Snacking continually won’t work anymore. You will need to learn to use your new pouch effectively to control hunger and eat foods that keep you satisfied from one meal to a next.
- Get support. Our team at WeightWise will serve as your support system, but it’s important to also surround yourself with friends and family that are also willing to support your new lifestyle. Ask a friend to keep you accountable in your eating and exercise habits or talk to other people that have gone through gastric sleeve surgery so you can relate and learn from each other.
After your surgery, you’ll need to take it easy a little bit, but once you get the go-ahead to start in with regular activities, it is important to create and follow an exercise routine that keeps you active. Talk to your surgeon about recommended exercises that are not too strenuous or do not put you at risk for an injury.
After gastric sleeve surgery, it can take around two years for digestive changes to take full effect. In that time, though, you’ll be amazed by the changes you see, both internally and externally. With patience and hard work, you will be able to enjoy your new lifestyle, new body, and newfound energy.
You can read more about gastric sleeve surgery, then contact our team at WeightWise for information on getting your weight loss journey started!
Can someone please tell me,is it safe to take your regular meds after surgery.I have to have the meds daily one is rather large I hope to have my gastric sleeve done in 2 weeks.I need this surgery but I have to take my meds.the biggest pill is most important
Good Morning Rhonda! That would be great question to ask one of our operating physicians. If you are considering bariatric surgery, the first step is to watch the free online seminar. Then we will get you in to see the surgeon whom will discuss the pros and cons of each surgery, review your health history, and discuss our process to operation. They will also go over any questions/concerns that you may have at this time.
You can watch the seminar online at https://weightwise.com/seminars/#seminar-tabs
I has the sleeve done a week ago and it still hurts very bad to swallow food or even liquid. Even the 1st bite so it’s not because I’m full. Is that normal?
Good Morning Christy! In terms of bite sizes, we recommend not eating anything solid until you are two weeks post-op. Once you are two weeks post-op and start eating, make sure that your bite sizes are no bigger than a pinto bean. In terms of swallowing liquid, try dialing back on your drink sizes and see if maybe you are taking to big of one. That can cause some pain/discomfort each time you drink.
Two weeks? I can’t find anything that says food after two weeks. Liquid for two weeks. Puréed for the next two, very soft for two and the slowly add regular after 6 weeks. Even then some things are off limits for longer. No red meat and no pork for 4 months.
Good Morning Connie. Two weeks post-op is what Weightwise recommends, and then the diet advances like I outlined above. The facility that you choose may have a different post-op diet plan in comparison to ours. I would speak with the dietitian and/or operating physician at the facility for further clarification.
Yes that is normal.
I had to crush any medication i was on after the sleeve surgery. After about a week, i felt no need for crushing the pills. Just make sure your surgeon knows any and all medications.
You can buy chewable vitamins on Amazon. Other medications you should ask your dr if the meds are made chewable or smaller. I dont think it will hurt you to swallow a big pill. Good luck
I had gastric sleeve done 3 years ago and I still can’t fully digest my food even after chewing it for a long period of time. It often feels like it’s just sitting there at the top of my stomach and eventually i’m having to go and throw it up. I’ve seen GI specialist and my surgeon I’ve done Barium Swallow test and EGD’s but no one can find any problems. I’m miserable to the point that I don’t eat because I hate the full and nauseating feeling I get no matter what I eat or how much I eat. Any suggestions please HELP!!!
Hey Monica! I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing this. Do you follow each of the post-op eating behaviors every time you eat? For example: not consuming starches, focusing on protein (2-3 bites of protein per 1 bite of veggie), taking bite sizes the size of your pinky nail/pinto bean, taking 20-30 minutes per meal, stopping at fullness, not drinking with your meals, and waiting a full hour after eating before drinking again?