Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have laparoscopic surgery if I have had other abdominal surgery procedures in the past, or have a hernia, or have a stoma?

The general answer to this is yes. Make sure to tell your surgeon and anesthesiologist about all prior operations, especially those on your abdomen and pelvis.

Can I have laparoscopic surgery if I have heart disease?

Yes, but you may need medical clearance from your cardiologist. Bariatric surgery leads to improvement in most problems related to heart disease including high blood pressure, cholesterol, lipid problems, heart enlargement (dilated heart, or abnormal thickening), vascular (artery and vein) disease, and coronary (heart artery) disease.

How long will I be in the hospital after the gastric sleeve operation?

Most patients go home the day after surgery once they can drink enough to stay well hydrated. Because of the small incisions, the pain usually is well controlled with oral pain medications at home. Almost all the patients are expected to walk a few hours after gastric sleeve surgery and can start their clear liquid diet the morning after their surgery.

How much time will I need off work?

That all depends on your occupation: if you have an office based job then you are looking at a week off work. You will need longer if you do a job which includes heavy lifting or carrying.

What can I eat?

Having a sleeve gastrectomy means that you will be on smaller portions but, you can eat most things in moderation. If you have had a bypass or switch then you will be on a limited diet. This means plenty of protein, carbohydrates and very little fat. If you have something which is high in fat then one of the more unpleasant side effects is that of diarrhea. Your dietician at the aftercare visits will be able to advise you more on this.

Will I have to diet after the procedure?

Yes. Most people think of a "diet" as a plan that leaves you hungry. That is not the way people feel after surgery. Eventually, most patients get some form of appetite back 6-18 months after surgery. Your appetite is much weaker, and easier to satisfy than before. This does not mean that you can eat whatever and whenever you want. Healthier food choices are important to best results, but most patients still enjoy tasty food, and even "treats." Most patients also think of exercise as something that must be intense and painful (like "boot camp"). Regular, modest, activity is far more useful in the long term. Even elite athletes can't stay at a "peak" every week of the year. Sometimes exercise is work, but if it becomes as punishing, never-ending battle, you will not keep going. Instead, work with your surgeon's program to find a variety of activities that can work for you. There is no " one-size-fits-all" plan. Expect to learn and change as you go! For many patients, exercise is more important for regular stress control, and for appetite control, than simply burning off calories. As we age, inactivity can lead to being frail or fragile, which is quite dangerous to overall health. Healthy bones and avoiding muscle loss partly depends on doing weekly weight bearing (including walking) or muscle resistance (weights or similar) exercise.

Will I have to diet after the procedure?

Yes. Most people think of a "diet" as a plan that leaves you hungry. That is not the way people feel after surgery. Eventually, most patients get some form of appetite back 6-18 months after surgery. Your appetite is much weaker, and easier to satisfy than before. This does not mean that you can eat whatever and whenever you want. Healthier food choices are important to best results, but most patients still enjoy tasty food, and even "treats." Most patients also think of exercise as something that must be intense and painful (like "boot camp"). Regular, modest, activity is far more useful in the long term. Even elite athletes can't stay at a "peak" every week of the year. Sometimes exercise is work, but if it becomes as punishing, never-ending battle, you will not keep going. Instead, work with your surgeon's program to find a variety of activities that can work for you. There is no " one-size-fits-all" plan. Expect to learn and change as you go! For many patients, exercise is more important for regular stress control, and for appetite control, than simply burning off calories. As we age, inactivity can lead to being frail or fragile, which is quite dangerous to overall health. Healthy bones and avoiding muscle loss partly depends on doing weekly weight bearing (including walking) or muscle resistance (weights or similar) exercise.

Can I go off some of my medications after surgery?

As you lose weight, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the need fro many of the medications you take for high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, cholesterol, and diabetes. Do not stop taking your medication without consulting your primary care physician.
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