Many people struggle with weight and the best way to maintain a healthy figure. While it is always ideal to control weight through diet and exercise, for some, that is simply not a realistic option. Patients who are obese face obstacles that are not experienced by those with only a small amount of weight to lose. The medical risks and activity restrictions that many obese patients face make weight loss surgery a good option for many. At Dr. Glen Ihde’s Dallas bariatric surgery center, he offers patients surgical options that enhance weight loss while being minimally invasive to patients.
Gastric sleeve surgery reduces the size of the stomach without making changes to the digestive tract and without introducing any foreign objects to the body. While this procedure is less invasive than other weight loss surgery alternatives, it is a surgical procedure that will require an extended recovery. As part of the preparation for surgery, Dr. Ihde ensures that his patients know what to expect from gastric sleeve recovery.
Following gastric sleeve surgery, most patients are kept in the hospital for one to two nights so that pain and recovery can be monitored. While the hospital stay will likely only last a couple of days, recovery from gastric sleeve surgery will take much longer. There are several important factors of recovery including,
- Pain: Many patients fear the pain that they will experience following gastric sleeve surgery. The most discomfort that patients feel will be primarily in the abdomen and at the incision site. Most patients report the most discomfort in the first week following surgery when movement can be difficult and uncomfortable. Pain medication will be prescribed to manage this pain. Pain will alleviate within the first couple of weeks after surgery. Most patients do not experience any discomfort within a month after surgery.
- Activity: Initially, many activities will be restricted following gastric sleeve surgery. However, in order to maintain the results of surgery, it is important to establish a new, active lifestyle. For this reason, patients are encouraged to begin an exercise regimen one to two weeks after surgery. This will start with simple activities like short walks. Dr. Ihde may recommend taking two to three walks a day that are five to 10 minutes in length. As the body recovers and energy is restored, patients can increase this activity. About a month after surgery, patients are usually cleared to add activities such as swimming or low-impact aerobics, always being sure to stay within an appropriate comfort zone.
- Diet: Diet will be extremely important in giving the stomach time to heal and in ensuring the long-term success of gastric sleeve surgery. Dr. Ihde will give patients dietary guidelines that should be strictly followed. Typically, a patient will be put on a liquid diet for the first week after surgery. This liquid diet will be followed by approximately two weeks of soft or pureed foods. This allows the staple line in the stomach to heal smoothly and helps the body adjust to its new eating pattern. Within three to four weeks after surgery, the patient can return to solid foods. However, it is important to realize that new eating habits will be required. Patients will need to eat smaller portions more frequently throughout the day. In addition, it is important to eat slower and thoroughly chew all food.
At Minimally Invasive Bariatrics, Dr. Ihde and his staff are there to support patients as they work through the post-surgical transition. They offer support groups, counselors, and exercise physiologists to make sure patients have the support required to make surgery and recovery a success.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are interested in learning more about gastric sleeve surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Glen Ihde at your earliest convenience. He looks forward to working with you toward a healthier lifestyle.