GASTRIC SLEEVE SURGERY FAQs
(VERTICAL SLEEVE GASTRECTOMY)
What are the benefits of the Gastric Sleeve Surgery? Why are more people considering this surgery?
The Sleeve has gained in popularity over recent years. We believe these are some of the most popular aspects of the VSG:
1) A significant absence of hunger
2) No fills or adjustments so no added hassle and cost.
3) The weight loss begins immediately post-op and is generally the percent of excess weight loss is higher than the band and similar to the bypass.
4) The Sleeve has a very similar recovery to the band, and is also performed laparoscopically.
5) The sleeve has a very similar outcome to the gastric bypass, without taking such drastic measures, without having malabsorption of your food, and with a shorter down/recovery time.
How long does it take to perform the Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Gastric Sleeve surgery takes 45 minutes to one hour, on average. You must also consider the anesthesiologist's time, which would add another 30 minutes. The total procedure will take about two hours for you to return to your room. In most cases the patients will be up and walking three to five hours after surgery.
Is the surgery very painful?
This surgery is minimally invasive-described as a "keyhole" surgery-with minimal pain. You will be given pain medication for any discomfort you may experience.
How many incisions will I have?
You will have three to five small incisions.
What about the weight loss with the sleeve? I am about 100 lbs over weight, what can I realistically expect?
The weight loss has shown to be very good for almost everyone. You still need to work on long-term lifestyle changes. 100 lbs weight loss is a reasonable expectation. If you move your body as you feel more comfortable, you can expect to lose most of your excess weight in about 12-18 months. This is unique to every person; however we see these results frequently.
Is it possible to lose too much weight?
Most people are pushing to lose the last ten or fifteen pounds. We have seldom heard of someone complaining of being too thin.
What makes you stop losing weight?
Calories in vs. calories out. A thin person requires less and just by virtue of eating less, you should be in balance over time by eating smaller portions. Exercise is a key factor as well.
Is this type of surgery reversible?
No, since part of your stomach is removed it is not reversible.
When can I go back to work? When can I start exercising?
You should be able to return to work three to five days after surgery as long as you do not need to lift, push or pull anything over 15 lbs for the first three weeks after surgery. You may begin light exercise only one week after surgery, initially walking then gradually increasing exercise as you lose weight.
Can I become pregnant after having Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Yes, Obesity produces a hormone imbalance that can make it difficult to become pregnant. Many patients are able to become pregnant after they have lost some weight. Women with weight loss surgery have had and are still giving birth to babies with normal birthrates.
What do I have to eat after the surgery? What are some of the things I can no longer eat?
We will send you post-op diet for the initial month following your weight loss surgery. You will need to focus on high-quality nutrition. There is nothing truly forbidden, however, carbonated beverages are not recommended with any weight loss surgery.
What is the most common reason for retaining or regaining weight? What is the best way to avoid these two pitfalls?
The most successful patients focus on three key areas:
The most common reason for weight retention is hidden calories in foods, not enough protein and another issue would be lack of exercise. Exercise is key in any weight loss program. Building muscle mass increases one’s metabolism. Another key to long-term weight loss maintenance is developing good habits during your initial weight loss phase; for example: exercise, eating slowly, watching your portion sizes, limiting treats, etc. Regular exercise such as walking four to six times per week for 30 minutes will help you lose the weight and keep it off.
Other than the obvious high calorie foods, are there foods Gastric Sleeve patients should avoid?
Each stage will be different. You should be sure to include high fiber and high protein foods. You will be eating a lesser quantity of food, but will still need to receive the same levels of protein and fiber as before. We recommend that you not drink carbonated beverages because they will most likely make you feel uncomfortable; carbonation may cause distention so that you may feel bloated.
Is it wise to drink prior to eating since it's advisable not to drink with meals?
You should drink in-between meals. The general rule of thumb is nothing 30 minutes before or one hour after, but that varies. If you drink too closely to your meal, you may fill your smaller stomach with liquid, leaving no room for food. If you eat during or right after, you will be pushing your food through your stomach, thus, eliminating satiety. Plus, drinking water in-between meals helps you to lose weight.
How many meals should weight loss surgery patients focus on? Three meals or six smaller meals per day?
The literature says three meals per day. Some follow this regime, others have three meals per day plus a snack. Yet others eat six smaller meals throughout the day (200-300 kcal each). Those that eat three meals might eat a 300 kcal breakfast, 500 kcal each for lunch and dinner, and a 200 kcal snack for example.
Is snacking a no-no?
Snacking can definitely sabotage your weight loss and the usual snack foods are a no-no. High carbohydrate foods will give you calories without satisfaction. If you’re hungry you should try to have only protein. If you need something sweet, try some fruit (it has fiber). You may also “snack on water” since hydration is also important.
Should I take vitamins or protein supplements after surgery?
Usually, you won’t require any type of food supplements because the Gastric Sleeve procedure does not have any effect on the absorption of nutrients. Although, many patients may need to use a protein supplement due to the limited quantity of food they can eat overall. With the Sleeve you will still obtain the vitamins and nutrients from what you eat; Gastric Sleeve – Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery is considered a “restrictive” vs. a “mal-absorptive” surgery. A good multi-vitamin daily is recommended.