Bariatric Surgery Resource

Preparing for Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery is a major surgery that will in all likelihood dramatically change your life. As with any change of this magnitude it is important to properly prepare in advance so that the transition post-surgery can be as smooth as possible. Complications and side effects can and will arise, but being prepared can help reduce these occurrences and help you overcome those that should present themselves.

The following tips are all designed to help you prepare for your gastric sleeve surgery (vertical gastrectomy). These tips are considered to be general in nature and your doctor will have more specific instructions for you, but these tips can be used as a guideline and give you an idea of what to expect when you begin your preparation for surgery.

Diet Preparation Tips

The single biggest change you will experience after surgery will be your drastically altered diet, both in terms of how much you can eat and what types of food you can and should be eating. All of the tips in this section are aimed at preparing you for the new diet you will be facing post-surgery.

  • Cut down on fried foods
  • Cut down or stop if possible the drinking of high sugar drinks such as soda
  • Stop using sugar and instead switch to sugar substitutes such as Splenda
  • Cut down on beverages with carbonation. Carbonated drinks tend to make you feel full/bloated faster and could potentially stretch your stomach.
  • Focus on proteins. You will need to ensure that the food you eat is rich in proteins that your body needs.
  • Cut out alcohol. These are empty calories that will have no place in your diet immediately after surgery.
  • Start drinking fluids in between meals and NOT with meals
  • Decrease portion size. This will not be a choice you have after surgery.
  • Eat 3 meals a day and be sure to chew all of your food thoroughly. You don't want large amounts of food or large size food getting stuck in your newly created stomach pouch.

You can read more about what the post surgery diet for gastric sleeve surgery is like and what you can expect.

Miscellaneous Preparation Tips

  • Begin to develop and exercise routine. Even if it's just walking regularly at first, you should get in the habit of performing physical activity.
  • Make sure everything with your insurance is in order. This includes and documentation and understanding what, if any portion of the payment you will be responsible for
  • Write down any and all questions you have for your doctor. You may not remember everything you want to ask. Write it down so that way you can be sure you leave no questions unanswered