Bariatric Surgery Resource

Post Surgery: Recovering After Gastric Sleeve

Once you have had gastric sleeve surgery the true transformation can begin. However recovering from the surgery itself is something you should be prepared for as it is not always going to be easy and pain-free. It can be made to be more manageable if you understand what to expect ahead of time and set some realistic expectations.

Basic Recovery Guidelines

The following tips and guidelines are some of the basics you will hear from your doctor as to how to best recover following your gastric sleeve surgery. These are meant to be basic guidelines that can be further customized by consulting with your doctor.

  • Hospital Stay - Typically you will remain in the hospital for 1 to 2 days post surgery. This can vary but this is the average amount of stay in the hospital for recovery from gastric sleeve surgery.
  • Diet - Your diet after gastric sleeve surgery will be a phased approach that is very important that you adhere to very closely. The phased approach starts with a liquid diet and gradually moves on to soft foods before eventually leading back to normal, but healthy, foods. A phased approach helps give the stomach time to heal and gets the body accustomed to eating smaller amounts. Attempting to deviate from this diet plan and overeating can lead to nausea, vomiting and potential leaking around the staples of your stomach. Read more details about a typical gastric sleeve diet plan.
  • Rest Time & Working - Even though this is a laparoscopic procedure, this is still major surgery that will require a period of rest and low activity in order to recover and avoid complications. Typically it is recommended to rest and avoid work, if possible, for 2 weeks after surgery. Then it is suggested that you should be avoiding strenuous activity and heavy lifting for the next 4 to 6 weeks after that. You will be in pain and weak for a bit after your surgery and need to make sure you don't overdo activities to avoid harming yourself.
  • Exercise - Exercise will be a key component of long term success. However immediately after surgery you must be careful not to begin full workouts too quickly. You should start with walking and getting yuor body moving for the first few weeks after surgery. Eventually you can add pool exercise and eventually a full workout routine when you are fully recovered.
  • Overall Pain Level - You will be sore and generally uncomfortable in the first weeks after surgery. Your abdomen may be sore or swollen for days after the surgery. This is normal and your doctor can prescribe you pain medication to help with this soreness.

Recovery for gastric sleeve surgery will be easier if you understand how to prepare and properly take care of yourself immediately after surgery. Following your doctors instructions about diet, activity and exercise will help you start feeling better faster and help shed weight faster and more efficiently. Learn more about recovering from bariatric surgery in general and what else you can expect.