What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Gastric sleeve surgery, which is a type of weight loss surgery, is also called gastric sleeve surgery or stomach reduction surgery. As part of gastric sleeve surgery, 75% to 80% of the stomach is removed. Thus, the patient’s food intake is restricted after the surgery. As a result, the patient loses weight. Gastric sleeve surgery is one of the most applied bariatric surgery procedures both in our country and around the world.
How is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Performed?
Gastric sleeve surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The patient does not feel pain during gastric sleeve surgery applied with laparoscopic technique. After small incisions are made in the upper part of the stomach, most of the left part of the stomach is removed. The remaining stomach looks like a narrow sleeve.
The foods consumed after the surgery pass from the stomach to the small intestine as before the surgery. As part of this procedure, no changes are made to the small intestine. Thus, patients start to feel satiated by consuming less food after the surgery and, as a result, lose weight.
What are the Risks of Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
In recent years, bariatric surgery procedures have become increasingly safe as a result of the development and improvement of both surgical techniques and the experience of surgeons. On the other hand, as is the case with all surgical procedures, some complications may develop during and after bariatric surgery. The main complications and risks that patients who have gastric sleeve surgery may encounter can be listed as follows:
- Difficulty in digesting some foods over time;
- Development of stenosis in the sleeve;
- The occurrence of heartburn or reflux complaints in some patients after surgery (in cases where the patient had moderate or severe reflux before the surgery, gastric sleeve surgery may worsen this problem. In such cases, gastric bypass surgery may be considered. This is because gastric bypass surgery is a safer procedure against reflux and heartburn.)
- Constipation develops in some patients due to digestive problems.
In addition to these, there is a risk of encountering some different risks depending on the general health status of the patient.
Which foods should be avoided after gastric sleeve surgery?
After gastric sleeve surgery, high-calorie foods, alcohol, dry foods, foods such as rice, bread, pasta, excessive fatty foods, high-fiber vegetables and fruits, high-caffeine and sugary drinks, and hard meat should be avoided.
Healing Process After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Patients who have gastric sleeve surgery are usually discharged one day later. During the first two weeks, patients should follow a liquid diet. After the operation, the patient is given a nutrition program for application. From liquids to pure foods, then soft foods and finally to normal foods.
Each meal should be consumed in small amounts after gastric sleeve surgery. Meals should be consumed slowly, and each bite should be thoroughly chewed. Switching to normal foods early may cause problems such as pain and vomiting. It is very important for patients to change their eating habits after gastric sleeve surgery.
People who have gastric sleeve surgery may face problems in getting enough vitamins and minerals as they start to eat less and naturally absorb fewer nutrients. In this case, it may be necessary for patients to take a daily multivitamin and calcium, vitamin D supplement.
Patients should have some blood tests done every few months for a certain period of time after gastric sleeve surgery. Thus, it is possible to prevent high blood sugar, anemia (low blood iron), low vitamin D, or calcium values. People who have heartburn problems after gastric sleeve surgery may need to take medication to reduce stomach acid.
Patients can regain some of the weight they lost after gastric sleeve surgery. To prevent this situation, it is required to follow a healthy diet and a regular exercise program. Some patients may experience an undesirable situation such as the expansion of the newly formed sleeve-shaped stomach over time. The patient begins to eat more. If patients return to their old unhealthy eating habits after gastric sleeve surgery and lead a sedentary life, they may gain weight again.
Since gastric sleeve surgery is performed with the laparoscopic technique, using very small incisions, there is no scar that may raise aesthetic concerns after the surgery, and the recovery time is short. The procedure is completed in a short time and comfortably. Gastric sleeve surgery is a surgical procedure that affects the stomach volume of the patient, but does not reduce the food absorption of the intestines.
After gastric sleeve surgery, which can be applied safely in high-risk patients, patients can lose an average of 60% to 75% of their excess weight. When evaluated in general, it can be stated that gastric sleeve surgery is a bariatric surgery procedure with a low complication rate.