OCC Is Here To Guide You 

If you're considering gastric sleeve surgery, recovery time is one of the most critical factors. While the recovery time can vary from person to person, most patients require several months to adapt after a sleeve gastrectomy. At Obesity Control Center (OCC), our nutritionist will prescribe a nutritional regimen that is easy to follow and will allow you to move up to the next stage of your recovery gradually.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery Time: Immediately After 

After your gastric sleeve surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room, where you will be monitored closely until you are fully awake. The immediate post-operative recovery period typically lasts for a few hours, and during this time, you will be given pain medication and fluids through an IV.

Keep the following in mind:

  • It is expected to experience some pain and discomfort after the surgery, but this can be managed with pain medication. You may also feel nauseous or have dry mouth, but these symptoms should subside within a few hours.
  • During the immediate post-operative recovery period, you will be encouraged to get up and walk around as soon as possible. This is important to help prevent blood clots and promote healing. You may also be given breathing exercises to help prevent lung complications.
  • Dr. Ortiz or Dr. Martinez will give you specific instructions for your immediate post-operative recovery, including when you can start drinking liquids and when you can start eating solid foods. It is essential to follow these instructions carefully to ensure a smooth recovery.
  • Sometimes, patients may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two after the surgery to be monitored and receive additional care. Your OCC surgeon will determine if this is necessary based on your circumstances.
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Short-Term Recovery Process

The short-term recovery process typically lasts for about two to four weeks. During this time, you must make some physical and dietary adjustments to ensure a smooth recovery.

Physical Changes

After surgery, you will experience some physical changes, including pain, swelling, and bruising around the incision site. You may also experience fatigue, nausea, and discomfort. These symptoms are typical and are part of the healing process.

To manage your pain and discomfort, your surgeon may prescribe pain medication. It is important to take the medication as directed and to avoid overexerting yourself. You should also avoid lifting heavy objects and engaging in strenuous physical activity for at least two weeks after surgery.

Dietary Adjustments

Your diet must be adjusted after surgery to ensure proper healing and prevent complications. For example:

  • In the first few days after surgery, you will be on a liquid diet. This will gradually progress to pureed foods and then to soft foods. You should avoid solid foods for at least two weeks after surgery.
  • It is essential to stay hydrated during your recovery period. You should drink plenty of water and other fluids, such as broth and sugar-free drinks. You should also avoid carbonated beverages and sugary drinks.
  • Your OCC team may recommend a vitamin and mineral supplement to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients. You should also avoid alcohol and tobacco during your recovery period.

Long-Term Recovery and Lifestyle Changes

After the initial recovery period, it is vital to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure successful weight loss and avoid any complications. Here are some tips for long-term recovery and lifestyle changes.

Regular exercise is essential for maintaining weight loss and improving overall health. It can also help prevent complications such as blood clots and pneumonia. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Some examples include the following:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Yoga

Following a healthy diet is just as crucial for long-term success after gastric sleeve surgery. Your OCC doctor and dietitian will provide you with specific guidelines, but here are some general tips:

  • Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day
  • Focus on protein-rich foods such as lean meats, fish, and tofu
  • Avoid high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sugar foods
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements as prescribed by your doctor

Potential Recovery Complications and How to Handle Them

While gastric sleeve surgery is generally safe, like any surgery, potential complications can occur during the recovery period. Here are some of the most common complications and how to handle them:

  • Bleeding: Bleeding can occur during or after surgery. While it is normal to experience some bleeding during surgery, excessive bleeding after surgery can be a sign of a complication. If you experience excessive bleeding, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Infection: Infection is a potential complication after any surgery. Keeping the surgical site clean and dry is crucial to reduce the risk of infection. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience signs of infection, such as fever, redness, or swelling.
  • Stricture: A stricture is when the opening between the stomach and the small intestine becomes narrowed. This can cause difficulty swallowing and nausea. If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Leaks: Leaks can occur at the surgical site after gastric sleeve surgery. Symptoms of a leak include fever, abdominal pain, and increased heart rate. If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
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The Importance of Follow-Up Care

After undergoing gastric sleeve surgery, it is important to schedule follow-up appointments with your OCC surgeon to ensure that your recovery is progressing as it should. These appointments are crucial to monitor your weight loss progress, address any complications or concerns, and adjust your diet and exercise plan as needed.

During follow-up appointments, we may perform tests to monitor your health and progress, such as blood work or imaging tests. We will also evaluate your weight loss progress and guide you on how to continue losing weight at a healthy rate.

Dr. Ortiz or Dr. Martinez may recommend working with our certified nutritionist to create a personalized meal plan that meets your nutritional needs and supports your weight loss goals. They may also suggest that you work with a physical therapist to develop a safe and effective exercise plan for your current fitness level.

Attending all your follow-up appointments and adhering to your surgeon's recommendations are essential to ensure the best possible outcome from your gastric sleeve surgery. By following our guidance and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can achieve successful weight loss and improve your overall health and well-being.

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Why Choose Obesity Control Center?

If you or someone you know is considering weight loss surgery, choosing a facility that prioritizes safety and innovation is important. At OCC, we have over three decades of experience providing specialized care to weight loss surgery patients. Our founder, Dr. Ortiz, has even patented several groundbreaking procedures.

We're proud to offer our patients access to our exclusive Patient Education & Tracking program, which includes informative videos and personalized support for up to five years after surgery. Book a consultation with us today if you're ready to take the first step towards a healthier life.

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