Gastric sleeve is an extremely effective weight loss procedure with a lower risk of complications than other bariatric treatments namely gastric bypass surgery. After a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, you can expect to lose about 60 to 70 percent of your current weight. That being said, the course of your weight loss is not going to happen overnight. There are four main milestones after the surgery; 3, 6, 12, and 18 months. At the end of each milestone, you can expect to lose a specific proportion of your weight.
It goes without saying that each individual experiences a different weight loss journey after a VSG. People with a vigorous and healthy lifestyle before the surgery are more likely to lose substantial amounts of weight after the procedure. We've put together a comprehensive timeline to draw you a picture of how you might lose weight after a bariatric surgery like sleeve gastrectomy; along with tips to increase weight loss and make the most of the WLS.
First stage: 3 months after the surgery
Immediately after the surgery, you are going to feel weak and might even lose your appetite. Add this to the fact that you are supposed to stick to a strict diet for at least six weeks. Unsurprisingly, you are going to lose the largest percentage of your weight at this time. To be more specific, about 35% of your weight will be gone within the first three months.
- Drink clear liquids for the first week following the surgery. You should avoid sugar and carbonated drinks.
- Gradually add protein to your diet in the second week.
- Start eating soft food and purees during the third week.
- Walk every day for 20 to 30 minutes immediately after the surgery. You can increase your activities in three to six weeks after the surgery.
- Get into the habit of chewing each bite extremely well. You should continue to avoid swallowing large bites for the rest of your life.
Second stage: 6 months after the surgery
Six months is the amount of time it takes for you to adjust to the new lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy diet, taking vitamins, and not skipping any exercise session is extremely important at this stage. An average VSG patient is expected to lose about 55% of their weight in six months after the surgery. This means you will be halfway to your ideal weight in less than a year.
- Avoid sodas, sweets, and other unhealthy junk foods as much as you can.
- Take as much as protein as you can. Protein inadequacy can lead to Hair loss, cracked nails and defective healing and immunity.
- Instead of eating three meals a day, try breaking down your meals into four or five small ones.
- You can gradually start intense workout sessions including strengthening and flexibility. Studies claim the more you stick to exercising, chances of losing weight will increase.
Third stage: 12 months after the surgery
You are going to feel much lighter a year after the day you went under the laparoscopic knives. By this time, you have lost around 70% of your weight. Carrying less amount of weight makes it easier for you to take part in strenuous exercises. You will find that you can climb stairs with less shortness of breath and walk longer distances at a faster pace. By taking advantage of the circumstances, you can encourage your body to burn even more fat.
- Keep a daily record of what you eat throughout the day to stay on track.
- Do not use straws to prevent air from entering your stomach.
- Reduce taking red meats, chicken, bread, and high-fiber fruits and vegetables.
- Drink at least 2 liters of water on a daily basis.
Fourth stage: 18 months after the surgery
A healthy lifestyle consisting of exercises and a sufficient amount of vitamin intake can trigger more weight loss. Given that you adapt to lifestyle modification; you can expect up to 78% of weight loss within a year and a half.
The rapid weight loss after a VSG
Fast weight loss has many benefits. It can help you become more energetic more quickly. For many, it is a great motivation to see their size dropping down on a monthly basis. In six months, walking wouldn't be as tiresome and you can skip the plus size section of clothing stores. In addition, for people suffering from type 2 diabetes, rapid weight loss can provide dramatic improvements.
Like all good things, rapid weight loss has a shortcoming of its own. Losing large amounts of weight comes at a price. Weight loss after bariatric surgery will be so fast your skin elasticity can't keep up with its pace. Eventually, you will have to face sagging skin on your arms, thigh, butt, and belly. You probably didn't see that coming, right?
But that shouldn’t keep you off the healthy experience of losing weight through bariatric surgery. The solution lies in cosmetic treatments such as tummy tuck and thigh lift. These procedures are specifically designed to remove the excess skin and tighten the area after a gastric sleeve surgery.
Making a decision as serious as undergoing weight loss surgery requires understanding how your life could change after the procedure. Learning about sleeve gastrectomy weight loss timeline is an easy way to make up your mind. It is also extremely important to consult the terms with a specialist. You can have a free consultation session with experts through Alomedical platform.