A Guide to: A Gastric Sleeve

Gastric sleeve surgery has quickly become the fastest growing bariatric procedure since 2010. The surgery involves reducing the size of the stomach by removing a portion using a stapling device. Every patient experiences a gastric sleeve in their own unique way, which is why it’s important to understand exactly what is going to happen. We’ve put together a quick guide to help you prior to your procedure.

Prior to your surgery, you will meet with your doctor and nutritionist who will give you a two week, pre-op diet plan. This will consist of lean meats, vegetables, protein shakes and a lot of water. This will help to reduce the size of your liver before you undergo the gastric sleeve surgery. A large liver can put you at a greater risk, meaning it will be more likely that complications will occur, and often the surgery will have to be postponed. However, if the diet is strictly stuck to, your liver will decrease in size, you will be able to undergo the surgery and you will not be put at risk.

From midnight the night before your surgery, you will not be allowed to eat, drink, chew gum or take any medications that have not been approved by your surgeon. This is to ensure pulmonary aspiration does not occur during the gastric sleeve surgery. Pulmonary aspiration is the entry of substances (such as food and drink) from the oropharynx or gastrointestinal tract into the voice box and lower respiratory tract.

When checking in for your surgery, you will be checked into pre-op where you will meet with your nurse and anaesthesiologist. Here, you will need to remove any jewellery and change into a hospital gown. Your nurse will give you an IV and some medication that will help to shun out any pre-op nerves. Once relaxed, you will be greeted by your circulating nurse who will wheel you into the operation room where the surgery will then take place.

If you have never been put under for an operation before, it is an easy experience and you needn’t be worried. You will be asked to breathe into a face mask and count backwords from ten. Before you have reached one, you will be asleep. The surgeons will then start the operation by creating several small incisions in the abdomen and using small instruments and a camera to guide to surgeon, a laparoscopic procedure. Once the incisions have been made, more than half of your stomach will be removed, leaving behind a thin, vertical sleeve or tube. Surgical stapes will be used to close your new, smaller stomach.

After surgery, you will wake up in your hospital room. Every patient is different and pain levels can vary. All patients will need to stay in the hospital for a two night stay. Before leaving, your nurse will ask and encourage you to walk a few steps in order to reduce the risk of blood clots from occurring. You will also be given a post-op manual which will help to guide you through what to eat and drink as well as the dos and don’ts after surgery. For the first week you will need to stick to liquids only. Pain relief is also encouraged to help with any soreness you might have, as well as walking little but often.

If you ever experience any issues or have any concerns after your gastric sleeve surgery has taken place, it’s important you do not hesitate to call your surgeons office.

For more information or advice on gastric sleeve surgery, we’d be happy to help. Get in touch with a member of our friendly team by visiting our contact page or by giving us a call on 0808 128 0022.

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Disclaimer: Please note that weight loss surgery results and benefits are unique to each individual and in such The Bariatric Group cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals as results for each surgery can vary. If you have any questions or would like to know more about weight loss surgery please contact our expert team.