Are you planning to have gastric sleeve surgery because you were not able to lose weight from diet and exercise treatments? But are you aware of how this surgery happens? If not, consider reading this article to know about gastric sleeve surgery.
Gastric sleeve surgery is also known as sleeve gastrectomy which is a type of bariatric surgery for weight loss to avoid further complications of obesity. In this surgery, surgeons remove a big portion of your stomach and leave a smaller portion of the stomach called a sleeve which is directly connected with the intestine. This surgery helps to reduce your calorie intake and reduces your hunger signals. This way, you lose weight faster and don’t develop any complications.
Even before the procedure starts, your doctors need to make sure your body can undergo the surgery. So, 1 week before the surgery you need to follow a physical activity program and quit the use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs if you take them.
Right before your surgery, they restrict your food and drinks or medications if you take any.
This surgery takes place in the hospital. Sleeve gastrectomy patients’ recovery depends on how fast their body heals, usually, patients get discharged from the hospital in two or three days.
This surgery is given either through laparoscopic or robotic methods.
In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon uses a camera, scope, and an instrument to make a small cut in your belly. The camera is placed above the stomach to get a clear picture of the inside of the stomach to monitor the organs and use the instruments to perform the surgery. Then, the surgeon inserts the other medical instruments in your belly to cut down and remove ¾ of your stomach. And then, they reattach the sleeve stomach into your intestine and stitch your stomach.
In robotic surgery, all the surgery is done by robots, the surgeon only feeds the details of the patient to the computer and monitors the surgery.
During the surgery
The surgery methods depend on your health condition. These are the steps they follow during the surgery, including:
- First, they give you anesthesia, a drug that is used to make people fall asleep.
- Second, the surgeon makes a small cut(incision) on your abdomen to put a port inside. This port is used to pass carbon dioxide to expand your abdomen.
- Then, they use the small light camera (the laparoscope) through the port to see inside your abdomen.
- The surgeon makes two to three additional cuts to get a clear picture of your insides and to use them to put other instruments for the further procedure.
- The surgeon divides your stomach to remove your 80% stomach and only leaves the sleeve by using a staples instrument. The sleeve area is directly connected to the intestine.
- Now, the surgeon removes the big part of the stomach and then stitches the incisions.
Normally this surgery is done in 2 to 3 hours. You find yourself waking up in the recovery room, where the nurse monitors your vitals for any complications (if they develop).
After the surgery
After the surgery, you need to follow a specific diet plan during your recovery. You cannot consume solid food, only liquids for one week. Then you can move to pureed foods for the next 3 weeks and then you can finally start consuming solid food (only those that your body tolerates). You need to make sure that you don’t miss your multivitamins and nutritional supplements to avoid nutrition and vitamin deficiencies.
You might experience these symptoms in your body due to rapid weight loss several months after the surgery, including:
- Body pain
- Feel cold most of the time
- Dry skin
- Hair fall or hair thinning
- Mood swings
You might need to visit the hospital several times for the first several months for checkups. This includes laboratory testing, bloodwork, and various exams.
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