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Gastric Sleeve Surgery FAQs

During a gastric sleeve surgery, three quarters of the bottom part of the stomach is removed. The procedure effectively reduces the size of the entire stomach to around 15 percent of its previous size, allowing patients to eat much smaller portions of food. Because the size of the stomach is so significantly reduced, it becomes much more difficult to overeat than before, and the procedure can help individuals lose as much as 60 percent or even more of their excess body weight.

By following your doctor’s post-operative recommendations, you can expect to lose around one kilogram each week following surgery until you have reached a healthy and stable body weight. Consistent weight loss, however, is dependent on your commitment to following a recommended eating plan following your weight loss treatment. You will need to eat much smaller portions than before, and stick to an eating plan that will be especially designed for you by our dietician. We also recommend that you begin to incorporate some exercise into your daily routine once you have recovered from the surgery as this will help you to reach and maintain your ideal weight.

It is quite normal to feel some pain at your incision site following gastric sleeve surgery. Dr Kevin Dolan may recommend some pain medication to help you manage any post-operative discomfort that you experience. Because the procedure is performed laparoscopically, however, you can expect a quicker recovery time when compared to traditional open surgery. Most patients are able to resume their normal activities between three and five weeks following surgery, but Dr Dolan will advise you on this when you come in for a follow-up appointment.

By following Dr Kevin Dolan’s post-operative recommendations, you can expect to lose around a kilogram per week after gastric sleeve surgery, until your body weight reaches a normal range. Because three quarters of the stomach is removed during gastric sleeve surgery, the amount of food that can be consumed is significantly reduced. The procedure also decreases the amount of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) that the body produces, which helps patients to eat less and lose a significant amount of weight.

The stomach can stretch quite a lot after you consume food and studies show that the human stomach can hold 2-4 litres of food when full. When you undergo a gastric sleeve operation, a small tube is inserted into your mouth and into the stomach. This causes all the gas and liquids to be removed to totally decompress the stomach. The removed part of the stomach is around 75-80% and because it’s completely decompressed it can be easily pulled out from a very small incision. The small incisions also significantly reduce your pain after surgery.

Most of our patients will go home the day after their bariatric surgery after they start on clear liquids straight after surgery. As the incisions Dr Dolan makes are very small, the pain is managed with oral pain medications at home. We expect our patients to walk a few hours after their gastric sleeve gastrectomy and start their clear liquid diet the morning after surgery.

All surgeries come with some risk however, performing surgery laparoscopically has several advantages which include:

  • less pain
  • faster discharge from the hospital
  • smaller scars
  • early return to normal activities.