If you have recently opted to undergo gastric sleeve surgery to help you lose weight, you may have some questions about what to expect following surgery. For example, how long can you expect to be away from work and other commitments? Are there any pain-management methods that can help you cope with post-surgery discomfort? Here are five helpful tips to keep in mind to feel more at ease following your gastric sleeve recovery.
- Walking is Recommended- Many surgeons recommend that you at least try to get out of bed in your hospital room and walk around as soon as possible. This is because in an attempt to protect you from bleeding your body will trigger the clotting cascade which will predispose you to blood clots in your legs. Early walking will reduce that risk. Also, early walking will encourage your lungs to take deeper breaths and to lower the risk of pneumonia and other pulmonary problems. Early walking has also been known to help with the early return of bowel function. All of these reasons make early walking one of the most important ways that you can contribute to your gastric sleeve recovery.
- Diet Changes- While recovering from your gastric sleeve surgery, one of the biggest changes you will notice is a significantly diminished appetite. This happens for two reasons: first of all, a portion of your stomach has been removed, which makes you need less food to feel full. Secondly, your levels of ghrelin, the hunger-producing hormone, are now much lower than before your surgery, making you feel less hungry than you are used to feeling. Immediately following surgery, you will not be allowed to eat or drink much, and your doctor will likely recommend simple liquids in the weeks following your surgery. You will be able to gradually resume eating solid foods after a couple of months, when your remaining stomach has completely healed.
- Feel Your Feelings- Upon awakening from your gastric sleeve surgery, you may feel a variety of conflicting emotions ranging from excitement to happiness to anxiety. This is all perfectly normal and expected- after all, you just underwent a major life-changing weight loss surgery that will affect all aspects of your everyday life. So feel free to bring up and discuss your feelings with your surgeon.
- Slow and Steady- Now that your gastric sleeve surgery is completed, you are probably excited to begin a fitness and exercise regimen that will help you shed those unwanted pounds, preserve and develop better muscle definition, and reveal the brand new you! However, since you have just had major surgery, it is best to follow your surgeon’s advice about any exercise program you may wish to try. Starting out slow, with walks and gentle stretching, is a good idea in the days and weeks following surgery. Around the second month following your surgery, your surgeon may recommend light cardio such as low-impact fitness classes to begin your exercise routine. As the months pass, speak with your weight loss surgeon about trying more intense forms of exercise, but always listen to your doctor’s recommendations above all else!
- Pay Attention to Pain- Since a sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve)is surgery, there is sure to be some pain as you recover. Fair amounts of pain and discomfort near the site of your incisions are common in the days following surgery and can be managed with oral pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. However, if the pain becomes intolerable or nagging, and appears to be staying the same or worsening each day rather than improving, call your doctor right away, as this can indicate a need for further evaluation.
The Weight Loss Surgery Center of Los Angeles wants to introduce you to the self you’ve hidden from the world. We are here to help you discover a whole new world of possibilities by helping you shed unwanted pounds for good. Dr. David G. Davtyan and his team want to help you reclaim your life with gastric sleeve surgery. We are here to answer any questions you may have before and after your gastric sleeve surgery. Call us today at 877-9-BE-SLIM to speak with one of our caring professionals and schedule a consultation.
Posted on behalf of Dr. David G. Davtyan MD, FACS, FICS