BrightDay

Sleeve Surgery tomorrow, and I am very nervous!

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Hello! I signed up today to the forum in order to post this. I am having a vertical sleeve gastrectomy tomorrow and I am starting to get very nervous. My surgeon didn't required a pre-operation diet, so I am still very much addicted to carbs and Coke Zero. I hope that will not be a problem for the recovery and success of the operation. I am 43 years old and generally in good health, despite being overweight. My BMI is 39 (it was 35 when I had my first consultation last year - very fast weight gain trajectory).

I wanted to ask what should I expect in terms of pain for the first 2 days after the op, and then the first week? I am worried about swallowing painkillers after I leave hospital, given that the sleeve will presumably be very swollen, painful and raw. My surgeon told me not to worry about pain, but I am still worried. 

Any tips will be gratefully received!

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First of all, welcome to TTF. We are here to inform and support you. 

While there are risks with any surgery, these risks are much less than the health risks associated with being very overweight. 

While some surgeons do not order a pre op diet, you will need to follow a post op diet in order to allow your sleeve to recover from the surgery and in order to lose your extra weight and keep it off. You also will need to take vitamins daily and drink lots of liquids (not with carbonation, caffeine, sugar or alcohol).  

In the US, patients getting the sleeve surgery and patients getting the gastric bypass surgery have the same post op diet. To that end, here is a booklet from one of the best hospitals in Boston on how to eat after your surgery:

GBP-Diet-Manual12611.ashx?la=en&hash=29F

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@Res Ipsa thank you very much! This is very useful. I got indications about the post op diet that I need to follow and was told that at the hospital there is an advisor that will give me more information. But it will be very useful to see what is recommended by Tufts Medical Center.

I am in the UK and this weekend I believe the Red Sox are playing in London against the NYY.

thanka for the information, really appreciate it!

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@BrightDay Good luck on your new journey !!   Pain was more then I had expected those first few days.  They gave us liquid pain meds instead of the pills.  I didn't need anything after the first week.

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@tracyringo thanks! I am excited and scared at the same time : )

will ask the doctor about the liquid medicines.

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@BrightDay I had absolutely no pain after mine, and he did extra work trying to get rid of scar tissue. I was extremely groggy for the first day, so I just surrendered to it. Once I was out of surgery, they gave me liquid Tylenol once, and that was it for pain meds. Once I got home, I slept in my bed from the first night, not in a recliner. The anticipation was far worse than the actual surgery.

for me, my previous gallbladder surgery was worse, pain and mobility wise.

i hope all goes smoothly for you.  You’re almost there!

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Although I’m bypass.  I had very little pain.  Mostly laying flat at night.  Remember, get up and walk around!  For most people carbonation hurts.  I was a Diet Pepsi addict pre.  Can’t stand the taste of pop now.  For months after I could only picture the pop hitting my stomach and expanding with the bubbles.  I could only imagine the pain.  

I cant stand plain water.  Look for water enhancers, they add flavor with no calories or carbonation.   MIO is a popular brand here.  At the moment I like the powdered packets you add to a water bottle.  My tastes dictate very specifically which brand I like.  (Wylers right now, no other brand will do).  Last summer it was A and W root beer packets.  I can drink the same thing for months and all of a sudden my tastes change.  

Ditch the carbs!  Early out before putting something in your mouth- ask yourself “what’s in it for me.?”  Is there any nutrition?  Most processed carbs have little to no nutrition.  Your tummy will be so much smaller you need to make the most of it.  That said, I love fruit!   I add vanilla Greek yogurt to it for added protein..

Good luck on your new journey!

 

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Welcome and good luck!! My initial pain was mainly nausea and a really bad headache from the anesthesia. That kind of ruined the first day for me. I had heard that the gas pain was bad and walking in the hospital halls was good for that, so I did a ton of that. It not only helped the gas pain, but the nausea as well! Walk, walk, walk! Sip, sip, sip the water they give you. It will seem like a ridiculously small amount, but it's good to start learning to sip right away. Welcome to TTF! People are awesome here and lots of great support and info!! 

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@Cheesehead @Boston Redhead Thank you for the messages, I really hope that it won’t be very painful, and above all, that I will survive : )

I expect that during the liquid phase after the op, it will be easier to break the carb addiction. This has been the case before when I have done low carb diets.

many thanks again for taking the time to post, it means a lot to me. Have a good evening!

 

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@Cindy Lou Who thank you Cindy, I am also a bit afraid of nausea, and having to vomit when the stomach is healing. Will try to walk a lot and sip, sip, sip (that is what my surgeon said too).

i haven’t read everyone’s profiles yet. I hope you are doing very well.

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1 minute ago, BrightDay said:

@Cindy Lou Who thank you Cindy, I am also a bit afraid of nausea, and having to vomit when the stomach is healing. Will try to walk a lot and sip, sip, sip (that is what my surgeon said too).

i haven’t read everyone’s profiles yet. I hope you are doing very well.

Doing well indeed! Sleeve surgery Feb 28, 2018. At goal with 118 pounds down (From 245 to 127) and in maintenance mode for the last 8 months. Life is SOOOOO grand! i can now exercise, buy small, cute clothes, play with my kids, enjoy life to the fullest! Being healthy rules!!! I'm so glad you are doing this for yourself! 

 

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@Cindy Lou Who awww thank you so much!! This really cheers me up!! The doctor just been this morning, and when he asked me how I was, I started crying. I couldn’t stop myself. He was very nice and reassuring and assured me that all will be fine. I will be second and will go to theater in around 2 hours. 

I really hope that my surgery goes as well as it did for you, and that I can have more healthy years with my children who are very young. Thanks again for sharing your experience!

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I'm thinking of you BrightDay - post when you can - have a safe trip to the losers bench.

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@cinwa thank you for think of me! I survived : ) all went well with the op but had horrible time with nausea at hospital. They thought I may have to stay an extra night because I couldn’t keep anything down, but luckily the last day I could start drinking and came home last night.

the pain has been so much better than I expected. The doctor repaired a hiatus (I think that is the right spelling?) hernia. 

I find that the post op dietary instructions for the first 2-3 that I got are not very good. I looked at the guidelines from Tuft university that someone shared, and that is much more comprehensive. My surgeon doesn’t have a dietician that I can consult, so I think I will adapt the meal plan. I cannot drink milk and the instructions say I should have two pints of skim milk daily! I asked about substituting with a Premier Protein shake and the surgeon said it looked good : )

so I guess I am a bit on my own with the nutrition.

hope all is well with you! Best wishes 

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2 hours ago, BrightDay said:

@cinwa thank you for think of me! I survived : ) all went well with the op but had horrible time with nausea at hospital. They thought I may have to stay an extra night because I couldn’t keep anything down, but luckily the last day I could start drinking and came home last night.

the pain has been so much better than I expected. The doctor repaired a hiatus (I think that is the right spelling?) hernia. 

I find that the post op dietary instructions for the first 2-3 that I got are not very good. I looked at the guidelines from Tuft university that someone shared, and that is much more comprehensive. My surgeon doesn’t have a dietician that I can consult, so I think I will adapt the meal plan. I cannot drink milk and the instructions say I should have two pints of skim milk daily! I asked about substituting with a Premier Protein shake and the surgeon said it looked good : )

so I guess I am a bit on my own with the nutrition.

hope all is well with you! Best wishes 

Please remember that you cannot lose your excess weight and keep it off long term without following a healthy post-op diet plan.  

There is excellent information on nutrition and what is a proper and healthy post op diet in the Tuft booklet that I posted a link for.  Another excellent guide on this topic from Ohio State is here:

https://patienteducation.osumc.edu/Documents/LifeAfterBariatric.pdf

Note that this Ohio State guide lets you calculate how much weight you should expect to lose.  However, as many people here at TTF have shown (including me), you absolutely can lose all of your excess weight, reach your goal weight, and then maintain at that goal weight for the rest of your life as long as you continue to follow a healthy diet, to take your vitamins, to lead an active lifestyle, and to drink lots of no (or very low) calorie liquids.

Life after weight loss surgery as a thin, healthy and active person is wonderful.  

We are here to support you. :)

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@Res Ipsahello! Thank you very much for the link, the Tufts Guidelines have been very helpful too. It is so encouraging to hear about people like you that have lost all the excess weight and maintain it. I really hope that I can do it too.

i am struggling with getting all the fluids just with small sips. Does it get to the point when you can drink normally and not with tiny sips?

many thanks again!

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1 hour ago, BrightDay said:

i am struggling with getting all the fluids just with small sips. Does it get to the point when you can drink normally and not with tiny sips?

Everyone has trouble drinking normally after weight loss surgery, as our new stomachs (or pouches) are small and swollen. But you really need to keep on drinking with small sips all day long, as serious dehydration is a very real medical risk otherwise  

Most people who have gastric bypass surgery, including me, can return to being able to “gulp” liquids relatively normally after a couple of months.  The liquids just flow directly through our stomach and into the intestines.  I do not know if this is true for people who have sleeve surgery, since with the sleeve food and liquids do not flow rapidly from the stomach to the intestines. This difference in the two surgeries is also why GERD is much more common after weight losssurgery for people who have sleeve surgery as compared to people who have a gastric bypass. 

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Thank you very much!

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Were you able to get the liquid pain meds ?   Glad you are doing okay.  Welcome to the losers bench !

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On 7/3/2019 at 6:28 AM, BrightDay said:

.........

i am struggling with getting all the fluids just with small sips. Does it get to the point when you can drink normally and not with tiny sips?

.......

Try drinks of different temperature.

I found out very quickly that my new pouch did not like drinks colder than room temperature and to this day, tepid to warm fluids go down much easier.

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@tracyringo@cinwa Thank you very much for checking on me, that's so kind of you. At the end, I didn't need the pain medication, they sent me home with regular paracetamol tablets (this being the UK where people seem to have extremely high pain thresholds - I am not British by the way, and I miss to be able to have proper painkillers when in pain).

I had a little pain on the incisions but didn't want to risk the horrendous nausea that I had in hospital, so I didn't take anything for the pain.

I am now feeling so much better! Can drink better and faster, though I don't know if this is good or bad. I worry about stretching the pouch with the liquids, but have not felt uncomfortable or full, so I am guessing this is ok.

Yesterday as I was going down the stairs, I slipped and fell down 5 or 6 stairs and ended up lying flat in the floor. It was very scary and I thought that maybe I had done something to the wounds (external and internal), but other than a purple and sore toe, all seems to be well. Such bad luck....

Hope you are doing well, and thanks again for your messages. Best wishes

 

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So sorry that you fell !!  Glad you are okay.

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I can only drink 8 oz at a time.  Earlier out I actually guzzled too fast and it actually came out of my nose.  Early out I used a shot glass which holds about 2 oz.  I set an alarm for every 15 minutes and drank a shot glass, took about 8 hours to get it all in.

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@BrightDay How are you feeling today? Better with your fluids?

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@burgundyboy I am doing much, much better! Can drink decent amounts at a time without discomfort. It is difficult to hit the 64 oz but I am just about managing it most days, considering that I am still in the liquid diet phase. 

Hope you are doing well and many thanks for asking. Have a great weekend!

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