Early Phases After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve in Mexico is a brand new adventure for most of my patients. We can tell you what to expect (and we do), but that doesn’t mean you won’t have tons of questions. And most of those questions during post-op phases one and two boil down to one thing: Is this normal?! Here are a few of the most common “normal” things to expect immediately after VSG.

You’ll be hungry…or not.
In these first weeks following vertical sleeve gastrectomy, the truth is that you won’t be able to eat many calories. For some people, this produces a bottomless-pit feeling that’s impossible to fill with Crystal Light. For others, though, even a couple of sips of tea is enough to keep them full for hours. Both sensations are normal. If you feel ravenous, know that you’ll be adding in solid food very soon. And if you’re weirdly full from a few sips, just do your best to get in your protein and water—and don’t worry about doing it perfectly.

You might lose a lot of weight…or not.
If you have a very high BMI—meaning that you have a lot of excess weight to lose—you’ll likely lose a good amount of weight via the pre-op diet and the first couple of stages of the post-op diet. After all, your body is getting dramatically fewer calories than it’s used to taking in. But for some patients, the scale gets stuck here for a bit. If you’ve heard us say that the first year after vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a kind of “golden year” in which you’ll likely lose the majority of the weight, any slowdown can produce anxiety. But rest assured that if you’re following our recommendations, the scale will get moving again soon. Your body needs to take breaks to recover and reset when it undergoes significant weight loss. You might just be hitting that point sooner than your sleeve brothers and sisters.

You’ll probably be tired.
Not only are you recovering from a surgical procedure, but you’re running on a relatively low number of calories. It’s no surprise that most VSG patients feel drained for a while afterward. There are some, though, who start getting a surge of energy even though their caloric intake is so low. The reason? As weight drops off, your body is able to do everything better: breath, move, sleep, etc. As a result, energy goes through the roof. A percentage of lucky patients start feeling that energy surge even in these early days.

You’ll be bored with your options.
We try to give as many liquid options a possible in phase one and two so that, in theory, you don’t have to pick the same things day after day. That’s the idea anyway. The reality is that some things won’t settle well (tastes sometimes change after surgery) or you simply won’t like certain kinds of foods. If you’re not a “sweet” person, for example, a big portion of the things on this list might not be appetizing. Which means, of course, that you’ll be eating many of the same things all the time. My suggestion? Try as many of the ideas we give you as possible. You never know what’s going to surprise you—in a good way—and break up any boredom you feel.

You’ll be tempted to skip ahead.
Liquids only for weeks at a time isn’t exactly awesome. And when you factor in the pre-op diet (some of which is liquid), you might feel like you’ve been living on broth and protein water forever. All of a sudden, you can’t get scrambled eggs out of your mind. What’s the harm? you wonder. Surely just a bite or two of real food won’t hurt anything. You could be right. But I strongly advise you not to risk it. There’s a very good reason we prescribe our post-op gastric sleeve diet on a specific timeline: it’s designed to nourish your body as it heals. Skipping ahead before your new stomach is ready can be damaging to healing tissues—not to mention making you feel terrible, physically. Resist this particular temptation by remembering that as long as it might feel, your time on liquids after VSG is actually pretty short. Hang in there!

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“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.