Gastric Sleeve Surgery: A Safe and Effective Weight Loss Procedure


Illustration of how gastric sleeve surgery alters the stomach

The gastric sleeve procedure is a restrictive bariatric surgery that reduces the size of your stomach and your appetite to encourage weight loss. Dr. Liza María Pompa González and her team in Tijuana, Mexico, can help you achieve your weight loss goals through gastric sleeve surgery, which is simpler than other types of bariatric surgeries and often has a shorter recovery period. 

Candidates for Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Patients with a body mass index (BMI) over 40, or with a BMI over 35 with serious weight-related health conditions can be candidates for a gastric sleeve procedure. This procedure may also be recommended to patients with a BMI over 50 as the first part of a two-part procedure. Bariatric surgery is usually reserved for patients who have had unsuccessful weight loss attempts through medically supervised diet and exercise previously. Patients should be non-smokers and be willing to commit to major lifestyle changes before and after surgery to achieve successful results.

Consultation and Evaluation

Your treatment process will begin with a consultation and evaluation with Dr. Pompa and her multidisciplinary team of specialists. Dr. Pompa will discuss your goals and review your weight and medical history, including any weight-related health conditions. You will also meet with our bariatric psychologist to ensure you are prepared for the changes that will follow your surgery. Through your consultation and evaluations, you and Dr. Pompa can determine if gastric sleeve surgery is the best weight loss procedure for you.

To achieve the best possible benefits, we recommend working with a nutritionist.

During the evaluation, you will be given pre-surgical instructions. Two weeks before your surgery, you will be asked to consume a strict pre-op diet to help prepare your body for the procedure. The night before your procedure, you cannot eat or drink anything after midnight, as this could cause serious complications.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

When you arrive for the procedure, you will be taken to a private room where you will meet with your nurse and anesthesiologist. You will be provided with a hospital gown to wear. Once you have been given medications to help you relax, you will be taken back to the surgical room. Before your surgery, our board-certified anesthesiologist will administer the appropriate anesthesia and pain medication for your procedure. Dr. Pompa will then make small incisions and insert the laparoscopic camera to guide the procedure. The majority of your stomach will be removed. The remaining tissue will be given the shape of a vertical sleeve, or tube, and will be stapled closed.

gastric bypass

Gastric sleeve surgery reduces the capacity of the stomach, helping you to feel full sooner.

Once the procedure is completed, Dr. Pompa will close the incisions and apply the necessary bandages. When you wake up from the procedure, you will be in one of our comfortable, private recovery rooms. Within the first few hours after surgery, our team will ask you to stand up and walk to promote healthy blood flow and reduce your risk of developing blood clots. It will also help alleviate discomfort associated with any remaining carbon dioxide trapped in your abdomen. 

What to Expect during Recovery

You will stay in our hospital for one to two days so we can monitor your response to surgery. If necessary, you may stay an additional day or two in the Grand Hotel for further recovery prior to traveling.

For the first day or two after surgery, you will experience some soreness and swelling in your abdomen, but you can alleviate discomfort by following your postsurgical instructions carefully and taking your medications as directed. It is imperative that you rest and limit your overall activity to avoid disrupting the recovery process. Heavy lifting and exercise could cause serious complications. Most patients can expect to return to work and normal activity in about four to six weeks.

You will follow a strict postoperative diet for about eight weeks after your surgery to allow your stomach to heal properly. Because gastric sleeve surgery reduces the size of your stomach, you will feel fuller faster and only be able to tolerate small amounts of food at a time. Maintaining a soft foods diet and drinking water throughout the day will help you avoid complications. As your stomach and intestines acclimate, you may experience nausea, diarrhea, and shakiness after eating. Over time, as your body continues to heal, these symptoms will subside and you will begin to notice results.

To achieve the best possible benefits from your surgery, we recommend working with a nutritionist. If you overeat or consume a high-calorie diet, your stomach can stretch and decrease your chances of successful weight loss.

Risks of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery poses many of the same risks any other surgery would, including bleeding, bruising, swelling, and infection. A few procedure-specific risks include digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation. This procedure is not reversible like some other bariatric surgeries, such as a gastric band. The surest way to minimize the risks of gastric band surgery is to trust your care to an experienced 

Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery is a shorter and simpler procedure to perform, and requires a shorter recovery period than other surgeries, such as a gastric bypass. A gastric sleeve surgery does not disconnect or reroute the intestine, and does not require any prosthetics such as a band. In addition, your gastric sleeve surgery can also improve and even eliminate some or all of your weight-related health conditions, improving your overall health.

Because this procedure removes the portion of your stomach that creates the hormones that signal hunger, you will have a significantly lower appetite following treatment. Patients who undergo this procedure are able to experience rapid weight loss. If you follow your postsurgical diet carefully, you can expect to dramatically reduce your body weight in just four to six months. Gastric sleeve surgery is a safe and effective procedure that delivers high rates of success among our patients.

Improve Your Health

If you are considering gastric sleeve surgery as a weight loss solution, contact us online today or call (866) 585-3298 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Pompa. Our experienced team at LIMARP® can help you achieve your weight loss goals and experience an improved quality of life.

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