Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio
You are interested in having a gastric sleeve procedure. You have probably scheduled the procedure and have begun the steps required to qualify. This article is one of many that you have turned to. You know how the operation is going to be done. You know step-by-step what your doctor is going to do. You know how long the surgery will take and what you are required to eat after the surgery. You know, but you keep looking. Maybe you are wanting to know more than the steps. You already know this is a life-changing surgery for you. You know this is the ticket to the life you have dreamed of living. You want to know exactly what is standing between you and the beginning of your new life.
What Are You Really Looking For?
For many years there have been invasive and dangerous weight loss surgery options available. You knew that you needed extreme help to get your weight down. You knew cutting back on calories and trying to work-out on your own never lasted. You were not willing to take those extreme and risky measures to lose the large number of pounds you had to lose. You needed real help from real medical teams. You needed help with your physical, emotional, and nutritional health in a way that most people never do.
Finally, weight loss surgery evolved and the gastric sleeve became available. It is now considered the industry gold standard. Now you know you can get the physical help you need. But you are afraid of what you will be facing after it is over. After all, food has always been your “best friend.” You reach for food when you are hurt, sad, bored, or lonely. So, what now?
When you return home, you can expect to be tired and a bit sore. You may need someone to help you for a few days. If you opt to go it alone, consider sleeping in a recliner so you can get up and down easier. Fill your fridge with jello cups and juice boxes and stash a box of plastic spoons next to your chair. You will be on clear liquids for about 3 days (some people stay on the small cups of liquid for the first week) so you will be just fine with your little cups.
You will be given complete instructions on your gastric sleeve recovery plan when you leave the hospital. Follow the plan exactly. Remember, your sleeve is only held together with the staples in the beginning. You will not feel hunger and you must not overfill the sleeve. You need liquids. If you have trouble keeping up, drink one ounce of juice or water each hour until your first appointment or until the doctor tells you otherwise.
Most doctors advise not to bathe for two weeks after surgery. However, you may shower. Pat your incision site dry, do not rub it. Use antibacterial soap and if you feel any soreness or notice any extreme redness or heat coming from the site, call your doctor. If your doctor has given you medication to dress the site with, dress it after your shower and cover it with clean bandages.
Medications and activities
Continue taking any medications as directed by your doctor. If you are taking medications for pain, do not operate an automobile. When you are well enough to return to normal activities begin taking short walks, or activities like swimming, but avoid lifting until the doctor has given you permission. Within a few weeks, you will be well enough to return to all the activities you enjoyed before your surgery.
It is not unusual for your emotions to be all over the place after a surgery like this. Your entire world has changed. Keep up with your medical appointments and any counseling appointments you have scheduled. If you take antidepressants, continue taking them. It is hard not to grab junk food to console ourselves when that is what we have always done. You have to find new ways to express your frustration.
Grab your phone
Remember all the support groups that you saw before your surgery? Those people online have been where you are right now. Now is when you need them. Get online. Just like you can support the person who is scared of going through the surgery, someone else can help you get through this day that is getting you down. So, you can’t treat yourself with a triple hot fudge sundae, you can relax with an iced tea and a pedicure!
What can you expect after a gastric sleeve surgery?
You can expect good days, bad days, better health, and better self-esteem. Finally, you can expect to never have to question yourself again. No more will you wonder if something was kept from you because of your size. You have leveled the playing field, so bring it on.