Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery FAQs

A list of some of the more common questions asked about sleeve gastrectomy.

Can I have the full operation or is it better done in two stages?

You will find that many surgeons recommend that you have this in two stages. This is to help reduce the risks from this procedure. Plus many patients have found that they have had good results in terms of weight loss from the sleeve gastrectomy as a single technique. As a result of this they did not need the second stage of this procedure.

The second stage is usually performed a year after the first. This will either be a gastric bypass or a duodenal switch.

Will I have to take vitamin supplements?

If you have had the sleeve gastrectomy then that is unlikely unless you are not getting enough nutrients from your food intake.

If you have followed this with a gastric bypass or duodenal switch then your absorption of food will be greatly affected. You will be required to take a daily nutritional supplement for the rest of your life to prevent malnutrition or osteoporosis (especially for women).

How much time will I need off work?

That all depends on your occupation: if you have an office based job then you are looking at a week off work. You will need longer if you do a job which includes heavy lifting or carrying.

What can I eat?

Having a sleeve gastrectomy means that you will be on smaller portions but, you can eat most things in moderation. Moderation is the key here: you can occasionally treat yourself as long as you remember to limit it. Unlike the bypass, dumping syndrome is not likely to be a problem although it is not unknown. This means you can have chocolate if you so wish but as with your entire food intake, cut or break it up into small pieces and chew slowly.

If you have had a bypass or switch then you will be on a limited diet. This means plenty of protein, carbohydrates and very little fat. If you have something which is high in fat then one of the more unpleasant side effects is that of diarrhoea.

Your dietician at the aftercare visits will be able to advise you more on this.

Can you regain weight after this surgery?

That is always a risk. If you do not follow the recommended diet plan and take any exercise then weight will be regained. If you have a sleeve gastrectomy then the hormone that controls hunger called ghrelin will have been removed along with the stomach portion. This means that you will not experience the normal feelings of hunger that other people do which in this case is a bonus.

This does not mean, however, that you can go and eat what you’d like. You will not feel as hungry but you will still have to eat and it is the quality as much as the quantity that it is important here. The sooner you adopt a healthy eating regime the easier it will be in the long term.

Again, you will be given advice about this.

Will I need cosmetic surgery due to the dramatic weight loss?

That is a distinct possibility. Your skin will have stretched to accommodate the excess weight: once you lose vast amounts of weight this skin does not return to its original elasticity but remains the same. What happens then is then it tends to hang down in large, fleshy folds. These folds can become infected as they tend to rub against one another.

They also look pretty unsightly as well. One of the first things you will want to do after losing weight is to buy new clothes but you may feel embarrassed at other people seeing these loose folds of skin.

Fat is also lost but there are likely to be some stubborn deposits that cannot be shifted by diet and exercise alone. Cosmetic surgery techniques such as liposuction can help here.

Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery guide sections

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