When dieting and exercising fail to help an obese person in managing his/her weight, bariatric surgery may be suggested. One of the most popular types of bariatric surgery is a gastric sleeve surgery or sleeve gastrectomy. The main aim of this surgery is to reduce the amount of food that can be consumed in one sitting. It does not affect the amount of nutrients and fats absorbed from the food that has been eaten. A majority of the weight loss resulting from this surgery happens within the first 6 months following which there is a slower weight loss over the next 6 months.
A gastric sleeve surgery is a relatively safe and short duration surgery. Prior to the surgery, you would have been given a special diet to be followed, the duration varies between one week to two weeks. It is essential to follow this diet strictly. This surgery may be performed laparoscopically, through tiny keyholes. More than half the outer side of the stomach is removed. The remaining part of the stomach takes the form of a tube. This surgery is not reversible.
Recovery from a gastric sleeve surgery is quite smooth and varies from person to person. A certain amount of pain and discomfort is normal for the first and second day following the surgery. The patient is put on clear liquids for the first 2 weeks following surgery. Soft foods are introduced in week 3 and 4. You can get back to small amounts of your normal food in week 5. You will notice that you feel fuller much faster and are able to consume a very limited portion of your normal food intake. In some rare cases, your food may also be emptied into the small intestines at a very fast rate. This is known as dumping syndrome. This may cause diarrhea and nausea and leave you feeling weak. It is essential to drink plenty of water to allow for smooth bowel movements and to prevent constipation.
On an average, this surgery can help people lose between 60 to 90% of their excess body weight. However, this requires control over your diet and the amount of exercise you do. At some point in time, your weight loss may plateau. This is normal to overcome this, you must make a change to your diet or exercise schedule. A dietician can also help you address the right number of meals needed by your body. It is very important not to fall back to your earlier unhealthy lifestyle and to maintain a positive attitude.