A gastric sleeve is one of many bariatric surgeries successful at achieving rapid weight loss among obese patients. As tempting as it sounds to get surgery to achieve your weight loss goals, it’s hardly that simple.\nBariatric surgeries are often used as a last resort after conventional methods of weight loss, such as diet and exercise have failed. It is also only considered when you meet specific qualifications due to obesity becoming life threatening.\nThere are numerous post-op requirements that you will be confined to, like dietary restrictions, physical activity and bariatric supplements.\nSimply put, bariatric surgery is not a quick fix.\nThis article focuses on gastric sleeve surgery, what to expect during post-op care, benefits and risks that are associated with the surgery.\nWhat This Article Covers:\n\nWhat is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?\nQualifications for Gastric Sleeve Surgery\nWeight Loss\nPros and Cons of Gastric Sleeve Surgery\nPost-Surgery Care\nGastric Sleeve Surgery vs Gastric Bypass Surgery\n\nWhat is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?\nMuch like gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery involves making alterations to the digestive tract. During the operation, about 75% of the stomach is removed leaving a “sleeve” resembling the size and shape of a banana. This new stomach tube holds a smaller amount of food compared to the normal stomach size. The surgery can take 1-2 hours.\nGastric sleeve surgery decreases the size of the stomach, resulting in changes to gut hormones that stimulate appetite.\n\nThe 'sleeve’ will only be able to hold around 2-3 ounces.\nThe aim of this surgery is rapid weight loss due to decreasing appetite and caloric restriction.\nThe procedure is permanent and you might be hospitalized for around 3 to 4 days, depending on the success of surgery.\nQualifications for Gastric Sleeve Surgery\nYou must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for gastric sleeve surgery. The criteria may differ based on the doctor, policies held by the practice, and type of insurance.\nGenerally, the qualifications include:\n\n\nA BMI greater than 40 OR\n\n\nA BMI of 35 to 39 with obesity-related comorbidities \n\nHypertension\nSleep apnea\nType 2 diabetes\n\n\nWeight Loss\nAs mentioned, the main goal of gastric sleeve surgery is rapid weight loss in order to improve health and quality of life. In 2019, the number of gastric sleeve surgeries performed was almost 60%, making it one of the most popular weight loss surgery options available. \n\nExcess weight loss can reach 60% to 70% within a year after surgery. \nThis is dependent on your adherence to the lifestyle change that is recommended for life after surgery. Weight loss is more than diet and exercise, it also takes a significant amount of metal effort and motivation to be successful.\nPros and Cons of Gastric Sleeve Surgery\nGastric sleeve surgery, like most major invasive surgeries, comes with a few benefits and risks:\nThe Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery\nGastric sleeve surgery is extremely successful in treating obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and high blood pressure. This procedure is less complicated when compared to other bariatric operations. \nDumping syndrome, that may occur after gastric bypass surgery, is less likely to occur after a gastric sleeve.\nIt has been shown to increase life expectancy, as well as increase quality of life.\n\nThe Risks of Gastric Sleeve Surgery\n\nThe complications associated with gastric sleeve surgery include GERD, blood clots, infection, sleeve dilation, and possible staple line leakage. After surgery, it is also possible to experience nutrition complications, such as nausea, vomiting or constipation.\nNew textures and foods may not be tolerated and you might experience taste changes. This is completely normal and should be managed by eating smaller portions, eating and drinking slowly, avoiding extreme temperatures for food and beverages, and chewing thoroughly. \nDue to calorie restrictive concerns, possible vomiting, and lack of nutrient intake, multivitamins and bariatric protein supplements are recommended. \nSleeve Gastrectomy and other restrictive procedures have been found to provoke reflux symptoms, especially if you had acid reflux prior to bariatric surgery. If you experience acid reflux after gastric sleeve surgery, your doctor might prescribe medications or diet therapy.\nIt is common to experience weight stall's throughout the weight loss journey. The body is adjusting to changes and wants to maintain balance. \nWeight gain may also occur. However, the goal is to keep this to a minimum. When you feel pressure, this is the signal to stop eating. When you continuously overeat, the stomach has to stretch in order to accommodate food. \n\nPost-Surgery Care\n\nHow long does it take to recover after gastric sleeve surgery and what does post-surgery care entail?\nAs mentioned, the surgery can last from 1-2 hours. You are usually sent home from the hospital within 3 days after surgery depending on surgical complications, such as bleeding, infection, or blood clots.\nPain is adequately managed to ensure timely recovery. You will be able to control your pain with “patient-controlled analgesia” (PCA). This allows you to self-administer pain medication with the click of a button. Well-controlled pain will allow you to get out of bed as soon as possible. \n\nYou will feel weak and tired for a few weeks after surgery due to lower caloric intake and healing. Most patients can go back to work or school after 2 to 4 weeks.\nAvoid strenuous activity for 3-6 weeks. Start with light physical activity, like walking as soon as possible. The more active you are, the faster your recovery will be. Consult with your practitioner before increasing exercise. \nIf you’re planning on having children after surgery, you will have to wait for quite some time. Gastric sleeve surgery and pregnancy can be very complicated. It is recommended that you wait at least 18 months after the surgery before pregnancy. Generally, you should wait until your weight has stabilized before even considering pregnancy. \nLastly, patients will often have excess skin after bariatric surgery, particularly around the belly. Some individuals consider plastic surgery and tummy tucks. If this is something you are interested in, check with your insurance company to see if they cover post-bariatric plastic surgery.\nGastric Sleeve Surgery vs Gastric Bypass Surgery\nGastric sleeve surgery is different from the commonly known gastric bypass surgery. Unlike gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass involves making a pouch that bypasses most of the stomach and is directly connected to the lower portion of the small intestine.\nThe decision of which surgery to undergo will rely on BMI, obesity-related health conditions, complication rates, and willingness to lifestyle change. \nAll bariatric operations are proven to achieve high success rates, but they all have their own risks and complications. You will have to have a discussion with your healthcare provider on what option may be the best for your individual needs. \nTakeaway\nGastric sleeve surgery has become a fairly common bariatric weight loss surgery. \nThe recovery time will vary based on the individual, but you should be able to go back to daily life activities within a couple of weeks and back to some normalcy within a couple of months. \nIf you are considering gastric sleeve surgery, it is advised to do your research. Look for gastric sleeve testimonials, gastric sleeve forums, attend support groups, and discuss with your healthcare team. \nDid you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking:\n\nGastric Sleeve And Acid Reflux\n6 Months After Gastric Sleeve\nBodybuilding After Gastric Sleeve\nGetting Pregnant After Gastric Bypass\nRecovery After Gastric Bypass Surgery\nHow Much Weight Loss to Expect With a Gastric Bypass\nBariatric Support Groups\nBariatric Surgery and Diabetes\nBariatric Surgery Options\nWhere Can I Get Gastric Bypass Surgery?\nBariatric Vitamin Patches\nBariatric Surgery Benefits\nBariatric Surgery Explained\n\nChewable Vitamin for Bariatric Patients \nWhat Pain Medication Can You Take After Gastric Bypass\n\n**This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.