Gastric sleeve surgery is done is to help assist patients with weight loss. During this procedure the stomach is reduced to less than a third it’s size. Unlike the gastric band procedure this procedure is permanent.
In most instances, this procedure is used for patients who do not qualify for gastric band surgery. This may be due to extreme obesity or illness. In many cases a gastric sleeve procedure is used to help a patient reach a safe weight so they can have a more radical gastric procedure.
Length of the procedure: 2 hours
Hospital Stay: Most patents are released form care within 1 to 2 days their procedure.
Recovery before traveling home: Patients seeking a gastric sleeve procedure through medical tourism can return home within 2 to 3 days of their procedure.
Travel Tip: It is best to plan to stay at least one day beyond your gastric sleeve procedure. However most doctors recommend that you stay 3 to 4 days to recover before traveling.
Your surgery will begin with the administration of general anesthesia. The procedure is done laparoscopically, so the surgeon will make 2 to 5 small incisions in the abdomen. They will use these incisions to insert the laparoscope and their surgical tools.
The surgeon will remove part of the stomach during this procedure. They will create a banana shaped tube with the remaining portion of the stomach. This tube will be sealed with staples.
After the Procedure
After the procedure you will be taken to recovery. Your vitals will be monitored carefully during this time. When you have woken from the surgery and your vitals are stable you will be moved to a regular hospital room.
You may have abdominal swelling and discomfort in the days immediately following the procedure. Pain medication should help make this more manageable. You will also be restricted to liquid diet for 2 weeks after the procedure. Then, you will need 2 weeks of a semi-soft diet before returning to solids.
Gastric sleeve surgery is successful for most patients. In fact, most lose 30% to 50% of their excess body weight within the 6 to 12 months of the procedure. Some patients need this procedure as a stepping stone to a more radical weight loss procedure, in such cases the second procedure is typically performed within 6 to 18 months post-op.
Risks and Complications
As is with any surgery there are risks associated with gastric sleeve surgery. The following is a list of the most common risks and complications:
• Reaction to anesthesia or medication
• Breathing problems
• Blood clots
• Pulmonary embolism
• Heart attack
• Digestive organ injury
• Sleeve leakage
• Weight regain due to stomach stretch
Contact your physician if any of the following occur:
• Temperature above 101 degrees
• Incision bleeding
• Discharge from incision is thick, yellow, green or milky
• Incision is red or warm to the touch
• Pain uncontrolled by medication
• Difficulty breathing
• Persistent cough
• Loss of appetite or loss of thirst
• Skin or eye white turns yellow
• Stool is loose or you have diarrhea
• Vomiting occurs after you eat