What is the Recovery from Gastric Sleeve Surgery Like?

by Mark Takata, MD

Post gastric sleeve surgery tips.

by Mark Takata, MD

The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is designed to help patients reduce their weight by removing 80 percent of their stomach. The remaining stomach is formed into a tube, like a sleeve, which results in a smaller reservoir to hold food and decreased appetite. Although the stomach is reshaped, no other organs are altered. This procedure is a good and safe option for people who are obese (body mass index 35 or greater) and have been unable to bring down their weight by other means.

The sleeve gastrectomy is a minimally invasive, laparoscopic operation and takes about 90 minutes. Performing the operation laparoscopically means shorter recovery, less pain, less time in the hospital, fewer complications and better cosmetic results. Patients stay in the hospital for one or two nights for monitoring and get comfortable with their new diet.

After going home, we encourage patients to walk and stay hydrated. Patients may resume more vigorous physical activity after four to six weeks. They also have a specific diet plan they must follow. We also send patients home with pain medication to help them through the first week of recovery. Two weeks after surgery, there is a scheduled visit with both the surgeon and the dietician. We recommend patients take three to four weeks off from work, depending on their job.

This Scripps Health and Wellness tip was provided by Mark Takata, MD, a bariatric surgeon at Scripps Clinic in San Diego.