How much weight will I lose with a gastric sleeve?
The national average weight loss following a gastric sleeve is 60-70% of excess body weight over a 12-18 month period.
Will I lose weight quickly?
Weight loss is generally quite fast initially, more than with having a band but less than having a bypass, but will settle into a regular pattern. Long term success is related directly to a patient's motivation and their commitment to following the dietary guidelines provided.
How long will I have to stay in hospital after surgery?
You will normally stay in hospital for two nights for this type of procedure. The first night you will be in our High Dependency Unit.
How will my diet change after surgery?
It is vital that only liquids are consumed for the first two weeks to reduce the risk to the stitches healing in the stomach. Then there is a need to restrict the consistency and type of foods that can be consumed in order to progress the healing. The new stomach pouch is much smaller and subsequently has a smaller capacity to store anything that you eat. This means you won't be able to eat large volumes of food. You will feel full very quickly and your appetite should decrease. As the body adjusts and swelling settles, there will be some give allowing for more solid food to be consumed.
You will not be able to eat the same volume of food as you do now. By the end of the first year you should be able to eat a child sized portion of food. This will gradually increase as your weight stabilizes and your tolerance increases.
What if I am still very hungry after surgery?
Most patients experience a reduction in hunger following a sleeve gastrectomy though some patients continue to feel hungry at times. It is important to make lifestyle changes and change eating habits to manage those symptoms. 'Head hunger' and 'stomach hunger' can be different and it is important to learn and recognise the difference at early stages. Habit and food dependence may need to be addressed to reduce those symptoms.
What are the potential problems after surgery?
Although unlikely, the stomach could "leak" where it has been stitched. This would be evident within the first 24 hours after surgery and is the reason patients stay in the High Dependency Unit for the first night so they can be continually monitored. Following successful weight loss surgery, some people experience thinning of the hair. This is a temporary side effect, normally occurring between three and six months after surgery. The hair does thicken up again.
The problems after surgery are fewer than is you were to have a bypass as the digestive process is not changed. Food is still absorbed so there is no need to have food supplements for the rest of your life nor is there the same need to have regular blood tests.
Can the surgery be reversed?
No, a large part of the stomach has been removed. It cannot be reversed.