Gastric sleeve surgery is a weight-loss procedure for people who struggle with their bodyweight, which Dr. Robert Snow of Snow Bariatric Center usually reserves for patients who have a BMI of greater than 40 or who have 100 pounds of excess body weight. Dr. Snow may also recommend gastric sleeve surgery if you have a BMI of 35 to 40 along with other weight-related health complications, such as sleep apnea or type 2 diabetes.
During gastric sleeve surgery, Dr. Snow permanently removes a portion of your stomach so that it resembles a small tube — or sleeve. This is an intensive procedure that requires pre-operative preparation and careful postoperative care, but the results are worth it: Most patients who get gastric sleeve surgery lose up to 80 percent of their excess body weight within two years after surgery.
Before gastric sleeve surgery
Before your procedure, Dr. Snow gives you a set of pre-operative instructions. You’ll have restrictions on what you can eat and drink leading up to gastric sleeve surgery, and you may have to take some medications or supplements to help prepare your body (or stop taking medications you’re currently on).
Dr. Snow may also want to take some lab tests and conduct exams before surgery. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t worry: Dr. Snow will make sure you thoroughly understand how to prepare for gastric sleeve surgery.
You’ll go under general anesthesia during your procedure, so you won’t feel a thing during the surgery. Dr. Snow performs laparoscopic surgery, which means he uses small tools guided by a camera. This type of surgery requires only very small incisions. Dr. Snow uses a tool to divide your stomach into two portions and then removes the larger portion through the incisions he made in your abdomen. Finally, he seals up the remaining portion, checks for any leaks, and closes the incisions.
Recovering from gastric sleeve surgery
After your gastric sleeve surgery, you’ll wake up in a recovery room. You’ll stay in the hospital overnight to be monitored for any complications. Before leaving the hospital, make sure you have someone to drive you home — you may be on pain medications that you shouldn’t drive (and you probably won’t feel up to driving anyway).
Part of gastric sleeve recovery is adhering to a special diet while your body gets used to the changes. For the first seven days, you’ll consume sugar-free, noncarbonated beverages, moving onto liquid foods and purees after the first week. About four weeks after your procedure, you can eat solid foods again. However, Dr. Snow will recommend that you still stick to a healthy diet and avoid foods high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fats. You’ll see the most success if you stick to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Your recovery will also consist of many post-op check-ups, so Dr. Snow can see how your body is adapting to the changes. He looks for any complications and asks you about any symptoms you’re experiencing, which may include constipation, nausea, or abdominal pain.
To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery and find out if you’re a candidate, schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Snow today. Call one of our convenient Texas locations or request an appointment online.