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Read these frequently asked questions — and answers — about vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery.
How big will my stomach be after surgery?
The size of your stomach will vary depending on the surgeon and your individual needs. All surgeons use a tube to guide them when stapling the stomach. This tube size can vary from as small as one or two ounces to as large as six to eight ounces. This is a very important question to ask when considering this surgery, since those patients with larger pouches may have less weight loss.
Is removing the stomach safe?
This type of stomach removal has been performed with the Duodenal Switch procedure since the mid-1980s and has been demonstrated to be a safe procedure. It involves stapling, just like gastric bypass, and has similar risks.
Will I need to take vitamins?
Vitamin deficiencies are rare with this procedure because there is no intestinal bypass. However, the procedure is very restrictive so most surgeons recommend that patients take a multivitamin and calcium and B12 vitamins after surgery.
Will I regain weight?
All patients undergoing weight-loss surgery are at risk for regaining weight. None of the operations can prevent this. Those patients who maintain good dietary and exercise habits are most successful in maintaining their weight loss.
What will my diet be like after surgery?
Your diet will progress over the first year. It usually starts with two to four weeks of liquid protein drinks and water. Patients gradually progress to thicker food items and by two months are able to eat seafood, eggs, cheese and other regular foods. The generally recommended diet is low calorie (500 per day), high protein (70 grams per day), low fat (30 grams per day) and low carbohydrates (40 grams per day).
The calorie intake increases over the first year and by 12 months many patients have achieved their goal weight and consume between 900 and 1,500 calories per day. The final calorie intake depends on the level of activity, age and gender (men can usually consume more calories and maintain their weight).
For More Information
To learn more about vertical sleeve gastrectomy or Sharp's other weight-loss surgery programs, consider attending a free informational seminar. To register, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm, or register online at Sharp's weight-loss surgery seminar.