The non-reversible surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes about one to two hours. Afterward you would probably stay in the hospital for one or two days, and recovery from gastric sleeve surgery may last a few weeks.
The abdomen is often swollen and sore for several days. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication for the discomfort. Some scarring may occur, but this can be covered with clothing.
You would need to become re-used to eating solid foods. Normally this starts with two weeks on a liquid-only diet, two weeks of semi-solid, pureed foods and then solids.
As far as weight loss goes, most people who have gastric sleeve surgery lose 30 to 50 percent of their excess body weight over six months to one year. Studies have shown that after the gastric sleeve resection procedure people show improvement in diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea within one to two years. These improvements are comparable with those seen after other weight loss surgeries.
As this is a relatively new procedure, no data is available yet on long-term weight loss or overall health improvements.
Certain lifestyle changes and follow-up care occur afterward; people who have gastric sleeve surgery must:
- Exercise regularly.
- Learn behavior modification techniques.
- Follow very specific dietary instructions, including eating very slowly, consuming only small quantities of food at a time, chewing thoroughly and swallowing food only when it is mashed, and not eating and drinking at the same time.