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.
Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery are two commonly performed weight loss surgeries that offer different benefits and risks. Here are some advantages of gastric sleeve over gastric bypass:
● Fewer complications: Gastric sleeve surgery is a simpler procedure that involves removing a part of the stomach to make it smaller. As a result, there are fewer complications associated with it, such as dumping syndrome or malabsorption.
● Lower risk of malnutrition: Gastric sleeve surgery does not involve rerouting the small intestine, so the body can absorb nutrients normally. In contrast, gastric bypass can lead to malabsorption of nutrients, which can cause nutritional deficiencies.
● No dumping syndrome: Dumping syndrome is a common side effect of gastric bypass surgery. It occurs when food moves too quickly from the stomach into the small intestine, causing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Since the stomach is not rerouted during a gastric sleeve procedure, there is no risk of dumping syndrome.
● Less follow-up care: Gastric sleeve surgery is a simpler procedure that requires less follow-up care than gastric bypass. Patients who undergo gastric sleeve surgery typically have fewer appointments with their healthcare provider, which can be more convenient for some people.
However, it’s important to note that both procedures have their own set of risks and potential complications, and the choice of which one to undergo should be made after careful consideration and consultation with a qualified healthcare provider.
Yes, the weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery can be long-lasting if the patient follows a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular physical activity. The procedure typically results in significant weight loss in the first year, with patients losing an average of 60-70% of their excess weight. However, it’s important to note that the amount of weight loss can vary from person to person, and the weight loss can plateau or even regain if the patient doesn’t maintain a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, it’s important for patients to work with their healthcare providers and nutritionists to develop a personalised plan for long-term weight management after the surgery.
Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is a weight loss surgery that involves removing a portion of the stomach to create a smaller, tube-like stomach. It is typically recommended for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with one or more obesity-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnoea.
In addition to meeting these BMI requirements, good candidates for gastric sleeve surgery should also:
- Have tried and failed to lose weight through traditional methods such as diet and exercise
- Be committed to making long-term lifestyle changes, including healthy eating habits and regular physical activity
- Be free of any medical conditions that could increase the risks associated with the surgery
- Have a thorough understanding of the risks and benefits of the surgery
- Be willing to attend follow-up appointments with their healthcare provider to monitor their progress and make necessary adjustments to their treatment plan.
It’s important to note that the decision to undergo gastric sleeve surgery should be made after careful consideration and consultation with a qualified healthcare provider who can evaluate the individual’s specific situation and determine whether the surgery is appropriate for them.
Recovery varies, but most patients can resume normal activities within a few weeks.
Patients transition from a liquid diet to solid foods over a month, with specific guidelines at each stage.
Costs vary based on the surgery’s complexity and the patient’s previous weight. Dr Dolan provides a detailed breakdown during the initial consultation.
Yes, the clinic offers payment plans, and many procedures are covered by private health insurance and Medicare.
Gastric sleeve surgery, designed for weight loss, involves reducing the stomach size, which can influence digestive processes and potentially impact heartburn. The surgery’s effects on the stomach’s size and pressure could affect the lower oesophagal sphincter’s function, increasing the risk of acid reflux and heartburn. While weight loss resulting from the procedure might alleviate heartburn for some, dietary changes, altered stomach function, and changes in eating habits could lead to variations in heartburn occurrence. Consulting with medical professionals both before and after surgery is essential to understand individual risks, manage symptoms effectively, and receive appropriate guidance for maintaining gastrointestinal health.
While gastric sleeve surgery can offer significant benefits for weight loss, it might not be suitable for everyone. Factors such as underlying medical conditions, body mass index (BMI), prior surgeries, psychological factors, commitment to lifestyle changes, age, pregnancy, and realistic expectations can influence your eligibility for the procedure. Consulting with a medical professional is crucial to determining if gastric sleeve surgery aligns with your health status, goals, and readiness for the necessary lifestyle adjustments. They will help guide you towards the most appropriate weight-loss approach based on your individual circumstances.
After gastric sleeve surgery, it’s important to avoid carbonated beverages, high-sugar drinks, and drinks with added calories, especially in the initial stages. During the pureed food stage, avoid tough or fibrous foods and opt for easily digestible options. In the soft foods stage, continue avoiding tough foods and limit high-fat and high-sugar choices. As you transition to a regular diet, steer clear of high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sugar foods that could hinder weight loss efforts. Prioritise nutrient-rich, protein-based foods while avoiding fried, greasy, and heavily processed options. Following the dietary guidelines provided by your medical team is essential to supporting healing, weight loss goals, and overall well-being after surgery.