Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Recovery Strategies

Gastric sleeve surgery is a bariatric surgical procedure to help people lose weight. Because a portion of the stomach is removed during the surgery, its capacity to hold larger amounts of food is diminished. This makes the person feel fuller longer, leading to rapid weight loss. You will need to make lifestyle and dietary changes after your gastric sleeve surgery, however, by keeping your post-operative doctor appointments and adhering to the following recovery strategies, you can look forward to a smooth recovery and better health. 

The First Couple Of Weeks

For the first couple of weeks following your gastric sleeve surgery, you will be on a special liquid diet that will consist of nutrient-dense protein shakes. You will have to avoid all types of foods and not drink any beverages that contain caffeine such as coffee, cola, and tea.

Adhering to your prescribed liquid diet will help ensure that you stay well-hydrated and it will also help prevent post-operative gastrointestinal upset. In addition to your dietary recommendations, you should also slowly incorporate mild physical activity into your daily routine.

Walking for half an hour or so every day will help enhance circulation and blood flow to your surgical site and promote lung function following your general anesthesia. While walking is encouraged, heavy lifting and strenuous exercise should be avoided during this time period. In addition, avoid taking baths during the first couple of weeks after your surgery, and instead, opt for showers.

Introducing Solid Foods

After getting clearance from your physician, you can start introducing pureed foods into your meal plans. Your doctor will advise you to avoid drinking and eating at the same time. They may recommend waiting up to half an hour after drinking before consuming your pureed foods, which should consist of low-fat proteins and fresh fruits. 

After about a month following your gastric sleeve surgery, you can start eating certain solid foods such as slowly cooked lean meats and boiled vegetables, which are easy to digest so that you do not develop gastric distress. Raw fresh fruits and raw vegetables should still be avoided during this time period, as should high-fat meats. Swimming and bathing can also be initiated after about a month postoperatively if cleared by your physician.

If you are anticipating gastric sleeve surgery, consider the above recovery strategies. When you follow your healthcare provider's recommendations and keep all of your scheduled post-operative appointments, you will be more likely to enjoy an event-free recovery.