One of the reasons gastric sleeve works so well as a weight loss tool is because, at Endobariatric, we have it down to a science. From the pre-op diet to the healthiest post-surgery habits, our proven methods have helped tens of thousands of people lose weight and keep it off. Here’s what you need to know about weight loss surgery with gastric sleeve.
Before the Procedure
The vast majority of our patients are required to stick to a liquid diet before gastric sleeve. This step isn’t because we want to starve you or get you accustomed to eating less. It’s because people who are obese typically have “fatty liver,” and a liquid diet helps shrink the liver, making both the surgery and recovery easier on the patient. Daily caloric intake will be 800 to 1,000 calories, which is a substantial decrease from what many patients usually eat. I’m not going to lie: You’ll probably be a tad irritable for a few days. But just keep your eyes on the prize of your (safer) upcoming surgery.
During and After Gastric Sleeve
When the big day finally arrives, you can be confident that gastric sleeve is a relatively simple, safe procedure. It’s done with minimally invasive laparoscopy in a quick 25 to 30 minutes, during which my team and I will remove 60 to 80 percent of the stomach. This physical restriction limits the amount of food you can eat and helps you feel full much sooner. The part of the stomach we remove also contains most of the “hunger hormone” called ghrelin, so patients don’t feel as hungry as before. The great news: not altering the intestines means nutritional deficiencies are rare with gastric sleeve.
Within 24 hours after surgery, we perform an upper gastrointestinal study to confirm the absence of a leak from the staple line. Patients are then discharged on the first or second postoperative day and can even go back to work in as little as five days.
Losing the Weight
For at least the first month following sleeve surgery, you’ll cycle through a diet of liquids and soft food. When you’re ready for solid food, the majority of your new diet will consist of lean proteins, with refined carbs playing a very small role. Pack as much flavor as you want into meals, though—we want you to enjoy eating!
After gastric sleeve, your stomach will only be able to hold three to four ounces at a time. The rest of the calories your body needs will come from stored fat in the body. The result: weight loss. Patients lose the most weight within the first six to nine months, though it will (hopefully) continue for 12 to 18 months or more.
What You Gain
New habits that we’ll help you develop (eating well and exercising), as well as the physical change of the sleeve surgery, mean you’ll lose weight. Probably a lot of weight, depending on how committed you are to the process. But what you’ll gain is much more exciting than what you’ll lose. First off, you’ll gain better health. Obesity usually brings a host of health problems—many of which gastric sleeve can improve or even resolve. Studies show that everything from Type II diabetes to high blood pressure to migraines can improve after bariatric surgery.
Equally important is the new confidence you’ll gain. Being overweight tends to take a toll on our mental health, leading to depression, insecurity, and feelings of isolation. But through gastric sleeve, patients gain a sense of control over their bodies that translates into higher self-esteem and body confidence. It’s hard to say which is more incredible—the way our patients’ bodies change or the way their outlook changes.
So don’t think it more and decide to change your life right now, if you want to know more about us, visit our website www.endobariatric.com, and discover how hundreds of people have transformed their life thanks to the gastric sleeve in our gallery of "before and after" pictures.
I also invite you to watch my videos (Dr. Alvarez) on YouTube in the #AskDrA Show where I answer questions that are sent to me daily, related to the gastric sleeve, which of course I invite you to send me one using the hashtag #AskDrA.
Do not forget to also follow us on all our social networks Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and if you have Snapchat you can also find me there, where you can see all my activities through day with the Endobariatric team, behind the scenes of the operating room, Meet & Greet and much more! Just add me and we'll have a great time! My username is gmoalvarez.