During the procedure
This procedure is performed by a surgeon under general anesthesia in a hospital.
The surgeon can conduct this procedure by either making a large incision in the abdomen or a few smaller incisions using a camera. The latter method is less invasive and has a faster recovery time. The surgeon first uses surgical staples or bands to create a small pouch at the top of the stomach and then connect this newly constructed smaller stomach to the middle of the small intestine. This way, the majority of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine are bypassed.
A tube is also passed through your nose into the upper stomach to keep your stomach empty while the suture line in your stomach heals.
After the procedure
If you were given general anesthesia before the surgery, you will be assigned to a hospital recovery room immediately after the surgery. As the anesthesia wears off, you may feel sore, groggy, or nauseous. Nurses will be available to assist you.
After the anesthesia wears off, you will either be discharged from the hospital or required to stay overnight, at which point you will be moved to a regular ward for the rest of your stay. Before you are discharged, the doctor or nurse will explain the steps you need to take to complete your recovery at home.
Most people stay in the hospital for 3 to 5 days. You will not be able to eat anything for 1 to 3 days post-surgery so that your stomach can heal. Your doctor may give you pain medication. In addition, your doctor will ask you to follow a specific 12-week diet (liquid to soft food) afterwards.
In the first 6 months after surgery, eating too much food can cause pain or vomiting due to the much smaller volume of the stomach. You should try to eat small meals and avoid combining liquids with solid foods.
You can expect to lose up to 50% of the excess weight during the first 2 years after the operation. It is important however to have a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain the weight loss.