Weight loss is not the most effortless journey for most people. While some quickly lose extra pounds with diet and exercise, some people require a Plano gastric sleeve to lose weight. However, specialists only recommend this procedure after you have tried losing weight by improving your exercise habits and eating healthy foods. Sleeve gastrectomy helps you lose weight and reduces your risk of potentially life-threatening conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, stroke and obstructive sleep apnea.

What is sleeve gastrectomy?

Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical weight-loss procedure that surgeons perform laparoscopically. The process involves inserting small instruments through tiny incisions almost the size of a keyhole. During surgery, the surgeon removes 80% of your stomach, leaving a small pouch about the size of a banana. The reduced stomach size causes you to eat less since you get fuller faster. The procedure also prompts hormonal changes that aid with weight loss and help relieve heart disease and high blood pressure.

How do I prepare for sleeve gastrectomy?

Like any other surgical procedure, it is essential to discuss with your doctor to ensure that surgery is an option for you. In the weeks leading up to surgery, you may need to stop any tobacco use and start a physical activity program. You may also have restrictions on eating, drinking, and the medications you can take. As you prepare for surgery, now is the best time to plan your recovery. For example, you may need to look for someone to help you with house chores or drive you home after the procedure.

During an initial consultation, your surgeon discusses the downsides of the procedure both in the short term and long term. Some of the short-term risks associated with sleeve gastrectomy include reaction to anesthesia, excessive bleeding, infection, blood clots, breathing problems, and leaks from the cut edge of the stomach. There is also a risk of developing long-term complications such as hernias, malnutrition, vomiting, gastrointestinal obstruction, low blood sugar, and acid reflux.

What happens during the procedure?

The specifics of your surgery depend on your surgeon’s practice. Some specialists use traditional openings, but typically, sleeve gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically. Before the procedure, an anesthesiologist gives you general anesthesia, which makes you unconscious as surgery is ongoing. The surgeon will create small incisions on your upper abdomen where they will insert tiny instruments to aid surgery. The surgeon staples your stomach for the procedure and removes the more significant, curved part of the stomach. The process usually lasts anywhere between one or two hours, after which you will awaken in a recovery room where healthcare providers monitor you for any complications.

How is recovery after surgery?

During the first seven days following surgery, your diet will consist of sugar-free non-carbonated liquids and advance to pureed foods for the next three weeks. You may resume regular foods at least a month after surgery, but you may need to take multivitamins every day and vitamin B12 injection once a month for life. Your doctor may recommend frequent medical checkups during the first several months after surgery to monitor your health.

Contact your doctor at LoneStar Bariatrics to learn more about sleeve gastrectomy.

By Alexander James

Beau Alexander James: Beau, a mental health advocate, shares personal stories, coping strategies, and promotes mental health awareness and understanding.