Gastric Sleeve Education – What to Expect Before, During, and After Surgery
The gastric sleeve weight loss surgery procedure has proven to be a very effective option for individuals suffering from morbid obesity. The following information will give you an idea of what you can expect pre- and post-operatively, as well as on the day of your procedure. If you would like more information on gastric sleeve surgery, the Inverted Gastric Sleeve procedure, or other weight loss surgery options, please contact DFW Bariatric Institute today.
Although bariatric surgery is one of the only known treatments which provide long-term success, you must realize that the surgery should be considered a “tool.” If you use the tool and follow our rules and guidelines, you should be able to lose weight and, best of all, keep it off!
Prior to surgery you must:
- Stop smoking
- Start a liquid Diet
- Decrease caffeine intake
- Stop carbonated beverages
- Practice chewing your food
- Stop drinking ½ hour before and ½ hour after meals
- Out-of-town patients will get their pre-op work up done in their location.
- Pre-operative testing will take place approximately 3 weeks prior to surgery. Don’t forget to bring a list of all your medications with you.
- Please bring all your medications with you to the hospital on the day of surgery. If you have asthma, please bring your inhalers to the hospital with you the day of surgery.
The day before your surgery:
- Get well hydrated
- Take a Pepcid the night before
- Shower with antibacterial soap
- Wear something comfortable
- Nothing to eat or drink after midnight
Day of your surgery:
- The hospital will contact you with your arrival time.
- Shower before you go with antibacterial soap.
- Take only the medications you were instructed to with very small sip of water.
- Do not take your diabetic medication the morning of surgery.
- Be prepared to answer several questions from the hospital staff during admission.
- An IV will be started to administer medications while you are in the “pre-operative area.”
- A Sequential Compression Device will be applied to you.
- The gastric sleeve surgery will take about 45 minutes.
- Pain will be managed with IV and oral medication while in the hospital. You will be given a prescription for pain medication during your pre-operative class.
- You may have gas pains in the chest and left shoulder from the CO2 use during surgery.
- Activity is important to recovery and prevention of blood clots.
Do your breathing exercises to defend against pneumonia.
- You must be without nausea and vomiting to start Phase 1 of the diet.
- You will start sipping 1 ounce of water every 15 minutes until we are satisfied you are safe for discharge and able to consume enough fluid to maintain hydration.
Discharge Instructions and Reasons You May Have a Longer Hospital Stay:
- You had to be converted to open procedure.
- One of our doctors determines you need to stay beyond the expected time after surgery.
- You have serious health problems which might require additional time in the hospital (e.g. severe sleep apnea).
Activity: The Key to Mobility and Weight Loss
Exercise is the key to continued success after bariatric surgery. You should be walking two miles, or one hour per day, within two months. After 3 weeks you may start swimming as an alternative to walking. You must wait 6 weeks for more strenuous exercises.
- No lifting anything more than 25 pounds for the first two weeks.
- No strenuous exercise for 4 weeks.
- No heavy housework (vacuuming, mopping, lifting heavy laundry baskets, etc.) for two weeks.
- No driving until after you have stopped taking your pain medication (usually approximately one week).
- No sexual intercourse for two weeks.
- Stairs may be used if tolerated.
- After 6 weeks you can resume all regular activity.
Care of your Incisions:
- You will have five to six small incisions on your abdomen. These incisions will be closed with skin staples, which will be removed at your first follow-up visit at DFW Bariatric Institute. All dressings should be removed 48 hours after surgery.
- In order to prevent infection, it is important that you keep the staples clean and apply a light coating of an antibacterial ointment, such as Neosporin® or generic triple antibiotic ointment.
- When caring for your incisions, always wash your hands before and after you clean or change your dressings.
Call our office if you notice any of the following:
- Redness, swelling spreading from your incision site
- Increased soreness or pain in your incision
- Fever (greater than 100.5°)
- Drainage from the incision
If these symptoms occur, you may have a wound infection.
- You MUST avoid getting pregnant for 18 months after bariatric surgery.
- For women who still get their menstrual cycle (period), you should expect some short-term menstrual irregularities.
- Be prepared for emotional ups and downs. Some, but not all, patients feel like they are on an “emotional rollercoaster” after surgery. These feelings are completely normal and usually disappear after several weeks to months. If you are on antidepressants, you should resume taking them as soon as you go home.