Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery Process

Have you tried diets and exercise for many years, but still have not reached your desired weight? If you are considering having surgical treatment and specifically gastric sleeve surgery, you will need to know about the procedure and the recovery considerations. You should know the risks and benefits of this procedure and know about long-term commitments that should do to make the results last.

Gastric sleeve is the most common bariatric procedure in the United States and other parts of the world. In gastric sleeve surgery, the size of the stomach decreases up to one-tenth of the original size. Thus, they will not be able to eat as much as before and they will make the patient feel full quicker. In addition, this surgery removes a part of the stomach that produces the hormone responsible for provoking the appetite.


What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric surgery is a minimally invasive procedure used for weight loss for those who are overweight and could not get a proper result through non-surgical weight loss methods like diet and exercise. This surgery is done through laparoscopic surgery using a mini camera to show the inside of the body. The duration of the surgery is often about 40 minutes to 1 hour.


During the surgery, your surgeon makes a few small cuts in your belly to insert a laparoscope inside it. This instrument has a tiny camera that sends pictures to a monitor. After that, the surgeon inserts other medical instruments inside the patient’s body through the additional cuts in order to remove ¾ of the stomach size. In the end, the surgeon re-attaches the stomach to form it like a sleeve.

In the sleeve surgery process, the surgeon reduces the size of the patient’s stomach by about 80% and makes a banana-sized stomach. When the size of the stomach is reduced, the person gets full quickly after eating significantly less portion of food. As the result, the person loses a considerable amount of weight. This surgery is irreversible and permanent; therefore, you should carefully evaluate your options before proceeding. You might need to be in the hospital for 2 or 3 days after the surgery.

difference between gastric sleeve and gastric bypass

How Gastric Sleeve is different from a Gastric Bypass?

In gastric bypass, the surgeon makes a small pouch and the small bowel is re-routed. Due to re-routing the small bowel, gastric bypass is more invasive than the gastric sleeve. In this procedure, people can lose weight faster in the following months. Dumping syndrome is more associated with gastric bypass when you are more sensitive to high-fat and high-sugar foods.

A gastric sleeve is the removal of a part of the stomach to make it smaller in order not to have the previous capacity for eating a huge portion of food. The removed part of the stomach produces ghrelin, which is an appetite-stimulating hormone. The speed of losing weight in this procedure is a bit slower than in gastric sleeve. However, in both methods, you can lose 59% to 70% of the excess weight during the first 2 years of the surgery.

How is the Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery?

Because the gastric sleeve is a minimally invasive surgery, the patients will often need to stay at the hospital for 1-3 days. In the hospital, the staff will monitor you and administer the required tests to make sure there are no major leaks or other problems with the incisions. Once your surgeon confirms that you are safe to go home, you will be discharged from the hospital.  Below, the gastric sleeve recovery process in different aspects of life is explained.


Recovery at home

Before leaving the hospital, you will receive the necessary instructions and a diet plan to follow. After the surgery, your body puts most of its energy to heal. You should free your time and rest on the first days back home. In the first days, light activities like brief walking are recommended, however, climbing stairs or walking for too long can be challenging.

If you have stitches, your doctor will take them out at your follow-up visit and the incisions will heal after some weeks. In the first few months, you will lose weight very quickly. As time goes on, your weight loss speed decreases. Most of your weight loss will happen in the first year after the surgery. During this time, you should have regular doctor’s appointments to check your body’s condition.

After the surgery, you still need to have a healthy diet and get regular exercise in order to get to your weight goals and avoid regaining weight.


  • Getting enough sleep, especially in the early days will help you recover sooner.
  • Walking increases the blood flow and decreases the probability of pneumonia and constipation. Try to walk every day, starting with little steps and increasing the amount little by little.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects in the first weeks.
  • Prevent doing heavy sports like bicycling, jogging, weight lifting, wrestling, etc. until your doctor says it is okay.
  • You can take showers if your doctor allows you. After taking a shower, dry the incision area and re-new the bandage.
  • Ask your doctor when you can drive again.
  • Depending on the type of your job, you may need to take one or two weeks off.
  • Ask your doctor about the right time to have sexual activities.


  • Your doctor will instruct you about what you should eat after the surgery. You need to follow a liquid diet for about two weeks. Gradually, you can add solid food to your diet.
  • Talk to your surgery team dietician to ask about how you can change from a liquid to solid food and how much the portions should be.
  • Try one new food each time to see if you can tolerate them. If the food discomfort you, write it down and try the food again later. Your tolerance to different foods may change over time.
  • Avoid drinking carbonated beverages, such as pop, mineral water, etc.
  • Avoid drinking with straws help you swallow less air when you drink.
  • Discuss with your doctor before drinking alcohol because your body may absorb alcohol more quickly after the surgery.


  • Your doctor will talk with you about taking medication and the proper dosage.
  • If it is needed, take painkillers as directed.
  • If your pain medicine is discomforting your stomach, take the medicines after your meal, or you can ask your doctor for a different type of medicine.
  • You need to take the full course of antibiotics, therefore, do not stop using them just because you feel better.
  • Consult with your doctor about the nutritional needs of your body. If it is needed, your doctor may prescribe some supplements.


Incision Care
  • If you have tapes and bandages on your incision area, it is better to keep them on for a week or until they fall off.
  • Wash the incision area with soap and pat it dry on a daily basis.
  • Do not use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol because they can slow down the healing process.
  • Change the covered bandage every day.
  • Keep the incision area clean and dry

gastric sleeve

When should you get Help?

If you have any of the following symptoms, you need to ask for help:

  • faint
  • shortage of breath
  • Pain that does not get better after using a painkiller
  • Inability to pass stool or gas
  • Feeling sick when you drink fluids
  • Loosen stitches
  • Having signs of a blood clot
  • Pain or redness in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin
  • Signs of infection like swelling, redness, pain, fever, etc.


The Bottom Line

You should know that having gastric sleeve surgery is a tool to help you lose weight and have a healthier life. It is not an eternal cure for being overweight. You need to have a healthy lifestyle to make the influences of the surgery last. After doing the surgery, you should watch your health changes closely and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems. Do not forget to have nutrient food because although you get full earlier, your body still needs the necessary nutrition. To consult with a professional medical doctor and know more details about gastric sleeve surgery, contact TebMedTourism free of charge 24/7.

Gastric sleeve surgery cost in Iran

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You may also like to do Sleeve weight loss surgery in Iran:

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