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Gastric Sleeve Nerves and Anxiety! Questions!



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Hi all,

I have my gastric sleeve surgery in one week and my nerves and anxiety are really kicking in now. I am looking to hear experiences from those who have had the surgery. Was it worth it? How bad/long was the recovery? Will I be able to return to work in a week? How often did you undergo nausea/vomiting? What was the worst part for you? Any horrible side effects? I appreciate hearing everyone's experiences!

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I'm a little more than 7 months out and have lost 130 lbs including the 23 I lost pre-op. I had a little nausea after surgery but was pretty much fine after 24 hours. The gas pain was uncomfortable but for me, not terrible. It got better over time.

Not gonna lie, I was ridiculously hungry at first and was surprised by that. I thought they'd done my sleeve incorrectly! But it got better after I got past the liquid phase.

Now, I'm healthier than I've been in years. I can walk, move, just do everything more easily. I have no regrets at all!

Sent from my SM-G975U using BariatricPal mobile app

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It was extremely worth it. The whole journey has been.

I had little pain from the incisions, gas or from the surgery. I did have trouble swallowing initially due to swelling & consequently had a lot of salvia. No nausea. No vomiting. No hunger. I took a month to go back to work but still struggled because of low blood pressure & I’ve always been slow to recover. By that stage I was on soft foods which was easier to manage at work.

We are all different & our recoveries are different. Some do have more pain, some feel hungry others don’t, some take longer to get their energy levels back or return to full time work. Take your time. Listen to your body. Don’t push yourself to meet stages or goals if you’re not ready.

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I'm RNY rather than VSG, but the most common regret of patients with either type of surgery is that they didn't have it earlier! The first few weeks can be rough (for some, anyway), but most ultimately consider it one of the best decisions they've ever made!

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1 hour ago, nat2013 said:

Hi all,

I have my gastric sleeve surgery in one week and my nerves and anxiety are really kicking in now. I am looking to hear experiences from those who have had the surgery. Was it worth it? How bad/long was the recovery? Will I be able to return to work in a week? How often did you undergo nausea/vomiting? What was the worst part for you? Any horrible side effects? I appreciate hearing everyone's experiences!

I had gastric sleeve surgery mid March - it went great, and definitely worth it!

I had discomfort around the incision sites but wasn't particularly sore. Getting in and out of bed was hard for a little while. I didn't experience any gas pain, I did a lot of loops around the ward. I did experience stomach spasms where I was first able to have fluids but it was generally on the first sip and this went within a couple of days.

I had two weeks off work and while no significant pain or issues I don't think I would have been up to going back to work sooner. If you don't sit at a desk all day you may find it difficult to go back to work. You want to make sure you are in a position to sip Water most of the day as well as get your full liquids in.

I haven't experienced nausea or vomiting at all. The worse for me intense contact dermititis from the incision bandaids and the discomfort getting in and out of bed (which probably lasted less than a week).

So far no side effects other than weight loss :)

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Posted (edited)

For me it was life changing in every sense.

The surgery was quite simple, minor pain at the incision areas, but aside from that really no serious pain. Thankfully, I didn't have some of the 'gas pains' that others have. No nausea, vomiting or extreme discomfort. Not really very hungry for the first few weeks either.

I'm not sure if it's common practice, but right before my surgery and at my 6-month check up I had a "Myers Cocktail" which is basically a bunch of Vitamins given through IV. Really helped with recovery and energy levels during a time where you really can't get much energy from food.

YMMV, but for me recovery was super fast. I was eating pureed food by day 2 and solid foods by I think the end of week 2. Don't worry too much about calories in the beginning. Regardless of what you eat, you won't be able to eat much. Refried Beans were a lifesaver for me the first few days on pureed foods, and the Ricotta bake that you see mentioned so much here was also a staple.

Couple pieces of advice (again, everyone's different but some of what I see on here leads me to believe that the issue is more frequent than some others):

  1. Pay attention to your Water. Sounds silly, but right after surgery I had no interest in drinking anything. I had to remind myself to drink water. So I started carrying around my water everywhere. That helped. Kept me sipping throughout the day.
  2. One of my biggest issues pre-op was that I ate fast, and when I say fast I mean really really fast. I honestly believe that was a huge part of my weight gain as it led to difficulty digesting, overeating, etc. Use the time in the beginning to re-train yourself on eating slowly and chew chew chew chew chew! Even your liquids. Even your pureed food. Even your smoothies. Chew it all. Sounds weird, but helped me monumentally.
  3. Don't try to jump into exercise too early, but don't put it off too long either. We all do this to bring about changes beyond food. We all want to be more active, make healthier choices. It's easy to want to jump right in, but I would wait until you get clearance from your doc (ask) to start, because any injury can cause complications with the surgery or set you back in your recovery or both. Also, you don't want to wait too long because it's WAY TOO EASY to fall back into old habits. Ask your doc at every checkup if you're cleared to exercise and when you are, get moving. Have a plan ready to go. Start with walks and move into beginner plans if you have to and then progressively take on more as you can, but start.
  4. Don't get discouraged with stalls. They happen. For some they happen sooner than others, but I think most of us experience them. Just stick to your plan. There are some good articles on here about how to work through stalls. Stalls will hit your ego a lot harder than your overall progress, I promise. Keep with your plan, and you'll push through.
  5. Use this time to change what you eat. Just because you can't eat as much of something does not mean that it's a good thing to eat. In the very beginning (first 1-2 weeks), you just need to get something in. Once you start back on solid foods, make sure you're choosing healthy foods. That doesn't mean you have to count calories, macros or any of that. Of course you can if that's what helps you, but I would use this time to find what works best for you. Since you can't eat a lot of different foods, chances are when you start back on solids you'll likely be eating only 1-2 different foods at a time. There won't be 3-4 sides, etc. It's a good time to see how different foods make you feel. Some people do great on a high-protein, low-carb diet. That didn't do it for me. I stuck with the physician's plan for the first 30 days (high protein), but I wanted something more balanced and more sustainable (for me) long-term. I made the change to go to a whole-foods based diet, and it's what I still do today, almost 5 years post-op. I stay away from anything processed as much as I possibly can. This doesn't limit me as much as other diets and it worked really for me. Try foods and see how they make you feel. Weed out the ones that leave you feeling bad, bloated, tired, etc.
  6. Enjoy what you couldn't enjoy pre-op. When you get out there and start enjoying the things that you may not have been able to do before your surgery, it's automatic motivation to stay on plan. If you have activities or certain things you have had to sit out because of your weight, having the opportunity to do them is like being a kid again and doing these activities for the first time. Remember those experiences. They will get you through any challenges you might face.
  7. Remember that times do get challenging, but that's why you're here. There's a lot of support here. I'm sure you have family and friends to help in that arena as well, but there's something about talking with people who've experienced everything you're going through. Don't forget that we're here.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I hope this gives you some encouragement as you start your journey. Best of luck to you and please keep us in the loop with how everything is going!

Edited by smg

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I’m going to preface this with- totally worth it, would do it again in a heartbeat.

That being said, I vomited for several hours after surgery that I remember. I tend to be really sensitive to anesthesia. My biggest issue once home was having a bowel movement but some magnesium citrate took care of that. I didn’t have much pain at all and wasn’t really ever hungry either. I did have some issues with certain foods after like room temp Water was an issue for a long time. However, I did develop a love of Protein pretzels and other crunchy Snacks.

In 3 1/2 months (mid December [264] to March [230]) I lost 34lbs making for a total of 95 including presurgery. I didn’t go back to work for 9 weeks but that’s because I also had knee surgery doing to same leave period.

After mid March I didn’t haven’t lost much else (currently 218) but I attribute that to developing a new hiatal hernia, severe GERD, intractable hiccups and esophagitis causing a ton of inflammation. I’m having surgery to correct them on the 11th.

Like I said though, would do it again in a heartbeat even with the hiccups (literal and figurative) along the way.

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The above posts killed it all I can say Is YES - Do not let the head mess with you

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I'm 5 days out and I have not had an easy go of it thus far, and I'm not trying to discourage you just so you know. But I was kind of pissed when I had it so rough and all I had been hearing/reading was how easy and gentle it was for everyone. I don't regret it, and I would still do it, and like I said I'm only 5 days out. I guess I'm just trying to say that you should know your journey is uniquely your own and you might not have the easy one but that's okay. No pain no gain!

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12 hours ago, smg said:

For me it was life changing in every sense.

The surgery was quite simple, minor pain at the incision areas, but aside from that really no serious pain. Thankfully, I didn't have some of the 'gas pains' that others have. No nausea, vomiting or extreme discomfort. Not really very hungry for the first few weeks either.

I'm not sure if it's common practice, but right before my surgery and at my 6-month check up I had a "Myers Cocktail" which is basically a bunch of Vitamins given through IV. Really helped with recovery and energy levels during a time where you really can't get much energy from food.

YMMV, but for me recovery was super fast. I was eating pureed food by day 2 and solid foods by I think the end of week 2. Don't worry too much about calories in the beginning. Regardless of what you eat, you won't be able to eat much. Refried Beans were a lifesaver for me the first few days on pureed foods, and the Ricotta bake that you see mentioned so much here was also a staple.

Couple pieces of advice (again, everyone's different but some of what I see on here leads me to believe that the issue is more frequent than some others):

  1. Pay attention to your Water. Sounds silly, but right after surgery I had no interest in drinking anything. I had to remind myself to drink Water. So I started carrying around my water everywhere. That helped. Kept me sipping throughout the day.
  2. One of my biggest issues pre-op was that I ate fast, and when I say fast I mean really really fast. I honestly believe that was a huge part of my weight gain as it led to difficulty digesting, overeating, etc. Use the time in the beginning to re-train yourself on eating slowly and chew chew chew chew chew! Even your liquids. Even your pureed food. Even your smoothies. Chew it all. Sounds weird, but helped me monumentally.
  3. Don't try to jump into exercise too early, but don't put it off too long either. We all do this to bring about changes beyond food. We all want to be more active, make healthier choices. It's easy to want to jump right in, but I would wait until you get clearance from your doc (ask) to start, because any injury can cause complications with the surgery or set you back in your recovery or both. Also, you don't want to wait too long because it's WAY TOO EASY to fall back into old habits. Ask your doc at every checkup if you're cleared to exercise and when you are, get moving. Have a plan ready to go. Start with walks and move into beginner plans if you have to and then progressively take on more as you can, but start.
  4. Don't get discouraged with stalls. They happen. For some they happen sooner than others, but I think most of us experience them. Just stick to your plan. There are some good articles on here about how to work through stalls. Stalls will hit your ego a lot harder than your overall progress, I promise. Keep with your plan, and you'll push through.
  5. Use this time to change what you eat. Just because you can't eat as much of something does not mean that it's a good thing to eat. In the very beginning (first 1-2 weeks), you just need to get something in. Once you start back on solid foods, make sure you're choosing healthy foods. That doesn't mean you have to count calories, macros or any of that. Of course you can if that's what helps you, but I would use this time to find what works best for you. Since you can't eat a lot of different foods, chances are when you start back on solids you'll likely be eating only 1-2 different foods at a time. There won't be 3-4 sides, etc. It's a good time to see how different foods make you feel. Some people do great on a high-protein, low-carb diet. That didn't do it for me. I stuck with the physician's plan for the first 30 days (high protein), but I wanted something more balanced and more sustainable (for me) long-term. I made the change to go to a whole-foods based diet, and it's what I still do today, almost 5 years post-op. I stay away from anything processed as much as I possibly can. This doesn't limit me as much as other diets and it worked really for me. Try foods and see how they make you feel. Weed out the ones that leave you feeling bad, bloated, tired, etc.
  6. Enjoy what you couldn't enjoy pre-op. When you get out there and start enjoying the things that you may not have been able to do before your surgery, it's automatic motivation to stay on plan. If you have activities or certain things you have had to sit out because of your weight, having the opportunity to do them is like being a kid again and doing these activities for the first time. Remember those experiences. They will get you through any challenges you might face.
  7. Remember that times do get challenging, but that's why you're here. There's a lot of support here. I'm sure you have family and friends to help in that arena as well, but there's something about talking with people who've experienced everything you're going through. Don't forget that we're here.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I hope this gives you some encouragement as you start your journey. Best of luck to you and please keep us in the loop with how everything is going!

This is incredibly thoughtful, generous, and helpful. Thank you so much!

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I had my surgery last Wednesday and I'm elated that I finally did it! I've been researching for over 5 years. I regret not doing this 7 years ago! I had terrible gas pain after I woke up. It only lasted for 20 to 30 min. After that I felt like I did 2 too many crunches for a couple days. Nothing major.

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