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What Happens During Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery is a procedure that involves removing a large part of the stomach along the esophagus and connecting different parts of the body to reduce appetite in the patient. Details may vary, but here is the basic form of the very popular surgery to give you the information to make an informed decision.

The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Gastric sleeve surgery is also known as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy because of the way that the stomach is removed and patched. The removal is done lengthwise, or vertically, with the staple line reaching from the esophagus all the way to the small intestine.

The fundus is the part of the stomach that is removed, and this comprises almost 80 percent of the total stomach volume. Because of the amount of body material being removed, there is a relatively high chance of complications with this procedure. It is always recommended to schedule routine follow up visits in order to ensure that the procedure was done correctly and there are no leaks.

Recovery From Surgery

Before you leave the hospital after gastric sleeve surgery, your doctor should run many checks on you, including a check to ensure there are no leaks in the staple line. Doctors will also check to see that the wounds they created are properly healing. They will set you on a diet that will help to transition you into your recovery, because your stomach will be especially sensitive in the weeks after the procedure.

At first, you will only be able to drink liquids. You will then move into puréed foods and finally back into solid foods around 6 to 8 weeks from the initial gastric sleeve surgery procedure. Assuming that everything feels right at home, you should follow-up with your doctor at least one week for every few months after the initial procedure.

You should also make sure that you get the appropriate amount of B12 vitamins, among others. Your doctor will prescribe you a full regimen of bariatric vitamins to ensure proper nutrition during recovery.