Life After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Bariatric surgeries have been in demand for decades. In the 1990s. The surgery was very expensive and unless there was a medical reason for the operation, most insurance companies would not cover the procedure. The demand got stronger. Doctors challenged the claim that bariatric surgery was “cosmetic surgery” explaining the long-term advantage that treating morbid obesity would bring. They began to cover the surgery in many cases. That was a few years ago. The surgeries that are offered today evolved from the original Gastric Bypass. 

Gastric Sleeve “Need to know”

Unlike surgeries of the past, a gastric sleeve operation is done laparoscopically. The gastric sleeve recovery time in most cases is two to three weeks. This is a major improvement from the gastric bypass operations of the past. With no major incision to recover from, the patient can get up and get moving faster and this is a critical thing to do.

There are risks, but they are rare. They include:

  • Staple line leaks
  • Blood clots (thrombus)
  • Infection at the surgery site

Risks & solutions you should address before the surgery:

  • Begin to lose weight
    • This is a way to jump-start your new life. You will enter the procedure ready to have the work done. Also, some insurance companies require this.
  • Exercise
    • This is similar to the requirement above. Also, it helps you get your heart beating faster and your body to release fluids. If you are a diabetic, it may help balance your blood sugar.
  • Stop smoking
    • When you stop smoking your body reduces the blood flow to the stomach which puts you at risk of blood clots.

The Surgery Is Over, What Now?

Once your gastric sleeve has been completed, your stomach is 1/10th the size of your natural stomach. The part of your anatomy that released the hormone that signaled hunger has been removed. You may be sore from the surgery and you should take it easy, but the faster you resume your normal pace, the better. This is the time, you need your doctor more than ever. Do not fool yourself into thinking the surgery was all you needed. Now, you will lose weight and all your problems will disappear. 

Your doctor will tell you what to eat, how much to eat, and how often to eat it. This is a trial run for your pouch. You most likely will be on a liquid diet immediately. After surgery, you may not be able to absorb nutrition. This includes Iron, Vitamin B12, Folate, Calcium, and many others.

Note: Be very careful when you choose your surgeon. Your relationship with him, pre-op and post-op are very important. Be sure you like, trust, and respect your doctor.


You will not be able to eat enough food to get the required nutrition from your diet at first. In the beginning, you will probably be told to drink clear liquids. Then you will go to soft foods and protein shakes. If your doctor has not put you in touch with a nutritionist before, they will now. They will train you to get the most from your diet.


There seems to be little doubt that people who have eating disorders have a mental problem that requires treatment. A person who eats too much food, comfort food, or binge eating, has a mental problem that requires treatment. If the patient is a gastric sleeve patient, the sign of Their problem is usually depression. This is why they should begin counseling well before they have surgery, and immediately after surgery.

There are many triggers for depression. Obese people tend to have low self-esteem. They often think other people don’t like them because they are overweight. They expect things to change with their new body. When they discover being accepted for looks is trivial, their “reality” is altered.

Other flags that may sound funny unless you have lived them. One example is when you wake up at 3 a.m. and cannot go back to sleep because you think you will never have chocolate again. Maybe you get tired of planning your meals or you just want to eat a cheeseburger. These are real issues for a depressed patient.

The patient has to be honest with themselves, maybe for the first time. They may discover that they are using weight as an excuse not to try for a promotion. They have to admit that they didn’t go on the annual business trip because of their fear of trying to fit into an airline seat.

The gastric bypass doctor will put you in touch with a counselor before surgery.

One more expert

You are eating right, taking vitamins, getting your fluids in, and the pounds are melting. Research shows you can expect to lose 60% – 70% of your excess weight in 12 to 18 months. You may be walking or jogging to help you get there. Remember, your body is new. It is not the same body it was before. It is acting like a balloon with the air rushing out. When it stops, it will not have a look that you like. You need a certified Health Coach that is skilled in gastric bypass. There are many (popular) health centers that have these coaches. You simply need to ask for them.

Your body will go through a lot of changes. Medical issues you had before may go away. Diabetes (Type 2), high blood sugar, hypertension, and many other conditions will respond to your health. It is wise to have all of your test results sent to your primary doctor. 

Gastric Sleeve Surgery is a wonderful tool for people who are morbidly obese. Like any tool, used correctly and it will work. If you follow your doctor’s advice and respect the team of professionals working with you, your gastric sleeve recovery time will be better and your new habits will lead the way to a healthy life.

For the first year after Gastric Sleeve surgery, you will work diligently with your medical team.After your surgery, you are working closely with your surgeon, nutritionist, and counselor.While you are learning about your new life, you need to take advantage of their knowledge and experience. If you want to ensure the success of your weight loss for years to come, learn how to be a success story. Enjoy your new life with health, physical and control. Now is the time for you to learn to be who you want to be.