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.