Start-to-Finish Guide on Weight Loss Surgery
Read time: 5 minutes
- The gastric sleeve procedure is an outpatient, minimally invasive surgery that can help qualified patients lose weight.
- Dr. Borland uses a laparoscopic method and advanced technology to remove a portion of the stomach with only four small incisions in the abdomen.
- Patients are discharged to a comfortable local hotel after waking up and spending a few hours at the hospital.
- Dr. Borland visits you at your hotel room to check in and answer any questions.
- Patients should be up and walking within a couple days, and back to normal light activity after two weeks.
You’ve been preparing for weeks or even months and now the big day is finally here: the day for weight loss surgery. The excitement and nervousness of this moment mingle together to form a jumble of emotions. What can you expect during the gastric sleeve procedure? Get the scoop in this start-to-finish guide
Preparation Prior to Surgery
Waiting for surgery can be difficult, but you’ll have plenty to prepare to keep you busy while you wait. The surgeon provides detailed instructions for the period prior to surgery, but in general you can expect the following:
- Risk assessment
- Stop smoking
- Pre-surgery diet
- Weight loss
- Blood work
On the surgery day, you’ll need to stop eating and drinking at midnight prior to surgery. When you arrive at the New Iberia Surgery Center, you’ll get checked in, change into a hospital gown and receive medication, including any necessary pre-op drugs and blood thinners. Both gas and intravenous general anesthesia are used for the procedure, which will make you go to sleep. The anesthesiologist will insert a breathing tube into your windpipe, and you’ll receive a catheter, which is attached to your bladder during surgery.
The Gastric Sleeve Procedure
Once you are unconscious and intubated, the gastric sleeve surgery can begin. For this minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure, patients are positioned on their back and tilted forward on the operating table. Then carbon dioxide air is used to fill the abdomen, to create space for the laparoscopic light and camera to see, and instruments to move around.
Local anesthesia numbs the area of the abdomen where four small incisions are cut; trocars are then inserted in the incisions. A trocar is a medical instrument that includes a hollow tube which allows laparoscopic instruments to access the abdominal cavity during surgery.
Using a specialized harmonic scalpel, Dr. Borland removes adhesions and fat from the stomach, spleen and gallbladder, freeing the stomach from the surrounding tissues. He then identifies and clips crucial blood vessels, and marks the pylorus, which is the lowest part of the stomach. The pylorus is used as a landmark to begin the gastric transection.
Dr. Borland uses a high-tech stapling device that cuts and sutures at the same time to remove the sack of the stomach. The staggered stapling technology seals the stomach and the removed portion simultaneously, eliminating spillage from the interior of the stomach and significantly reducing the chance of infection. During this step, Dr. Borland works carefully to avoid twisting or narrowing the sleeve, and applies hemoclips at bleeding sites and junctions to provide additional reinforcement.
After the stomach is divided, sutured and cleansed with a saline solution, the freed portion is removed along with extra carbon dioxide through the periumbilical trocar site, which is at the belly button. The trocars are removed, and the trocar sites are sutured to complete the procedure. The entire procedure typically takes about an hour and a half.
Following the outpatient gastric sleeve procedure, you’ll be monitored for four to five hours at the hospital and then discharged to a comfortable hotel room, remaining under Dr. Borland’s care for the next two to three days. He will visit you at your hotel room to check on you and answer any questions. You’ll need to begin walking within 2 days, but you’ll need someone to help you cook and do chores for the first week. Most patients are healed and resuming normal, light activity within two weeks. You’ll begin the recovery period on a liquid diet, and then gradually return to solid foods following the post-op diet instructions.
Gastric sleeve is both exciting and intimidating for patients. No matter what you’re feeling, Dr. Borland and his team are there to support you throughout your weight loss surgery journey. Learn more by checking out our other resources for additional information, then contact Dr. Borland’s office to get started.