Healing from a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy – Weight Loss Surgery
What is a gastrectomy?
The basic surgery “Gastrectomy” refers to the partial or full removal of the stomach via surgery. Gastrectomies are often performed as a way to treat cancer or deal with perforations in the stomach wall. In the past, gastrectomies have been used as a way to treat peptic ulcers; however, today antibiotics are how most peptic ulcers are addressed.
What is a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy vs. a Gastrectomy?
A vertical sleeve gastrectomy is different from a gastrectomy in that a sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical weight-loss procedure performed on the stomach to reduce its size. A surgeon will make between 2 and 5 small incisions in your abdomen to perform the surgery, with the procedure taking on average between 60 to 90 minutes.
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy has become very popular and is now one of the fastest growing weight loss surgeries. A large percentage of the stomach of the stomach is removed in a vertical sleeve gastrectomy; the newly shaped stomach will resemble a sleeve shape and be roughly the size of a banana.
As with all surgeries, complications are possible with vertical sleeve gastrectomy. Some complications can include sleeve leaking, vomiting, blood clots, infections, esophageal spasms and pain and other potential complications.
After a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a very effective surgery, and people who have the surgery usually experience considerable weight loss as a result, but it is important to take recovery very seriously. Vitamin deficiencies can be a major concern. In particular, patients may become deficient in B vitamins.
Hospital stays after a vertical sleeve gastrectomy can be as short as two days. Complications can, of course, lengthen stays. During the recovery period, wound healing is monitored carefully. Staples are checked for infection and healing as well.
What about Meals During the Healing Process?
Food consumption after a vertical sleeve gastrectomy has to be monitored closely. During the first phase of recovery, patients should expect an exclusively liquid time. In time, more and more solid food can be introduced. It is also important to note that the size of meals is also drastically reduced due to the fact that patients now have much smaller stomachs.
When you are sent home you will be given a medicine called proton pump inhibitors as well as pain pills. As healing progresses, meals will stay smaller due to the smaller size of a patient’s stomach. One should note that this is a permanent change resulting from a vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
Patients learn that they must have a permanent and different approach to food; one that includes eating healthy foods and dramatically smaller portions. The effectiveness of this procedure is such that patients can expect to lose a good deal of weight over an extended period of time.
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