It is natural to first look into non-surgical solutions to resolve health issues. But diet and exercise on their own do not work for everyone. Thankfully, gastric sleeve surgery can be an effective solution for those wanting to live at a healthier weight. But some clinics make their patients wait months before undergoing this life-changing procedure.
Patients can typically get gastric sleeve surgery around two weeks after approval through Medi Makeovers. The assessment process generally takes only a few days after receiving photos and medical details. This is faster than most clinics, with waiting periods ranging from 6 weeks to 6 months.
Medi Makeovers understand their patients’ desire to get on with the rest of their life as soon as possible. Thus, we do everything in our power to help you achieve that goal as fast and comfortably as possible. Hence, the delays for surgery are typically on our clients’ side as they sort out their personal lives, including booking leave from work to arranging child care.
How Soon Can I Book My Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Medi Makeovers can take bookings for gastric sleeve surgery as soon as a client has been approved. As a result, the wait between surgery and booking can be as little as two weeks, which is substantially quicker than most other clinics.
How Long Is The Gastric Sleeve Approval Process?
The gastric sleeve approval process only takes a few days after we receive your medical forms and photos. To begin the process, you should have a BMI of 35 or greater. However, our surgeon will consider you for surgery if you are below a BMI of 35 for other reasons – so we do suggest you contact us for more information. We have a free BMI Calculator on our website if you are unsure of your BMI.
Next, patients must then fill out our online forms and submit photographs. Full photograph instructions can be found here. The general requirements are as follows:
- Photos must be at least 150K and no larger than 2,000K.
- They must feature yourself and nobody else
- There must be proper lighting
- No photoshop, filters, or trying to capture your “best angle”
- Ensure photos are in focus and clear, not blurry
- Try to have a plain background
Do I Have To Diet Before Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Patients must go on a liquid diet for two weeks before gastric sleeve surgery. The unique eating plan aims to raise the safety of the surgery and make the procedure easier to perform. The fewer complications during the procedure, the smoother the healing process.
Firstly, the pre-op liquid plan reduces the size of the patient’s liver. When a person is obese, fat collects around the organ, causing the liver to increase as its functionality decreases. The all-liquid diet reduces the fat around this vital organ while also shrinking the actual liver, increasing its functionality.
In addition, the reduced liver size makes it easier for the surgeon to perform gastric sleeve surgery without disturbing the patient’s other vital internal organs. Thus, the risks of the surgery are reduced while increasing the likelihood of a smooth and timely recovery.
What Do I Drink On A Gastric Sleeve Pre-Op Diet?
The gastric sleeve pre-op diet will be prescribed by the surgeon and tailored to the patient’s needs. You must disclose any food allergies or intolerances at this time.
However, the pre-op plan generally resembles the following:
- Breakfast: a high protein and low sugar shake
- Lunch: a high protein and low sugar shake and 1 piece of fruit, such as a pear
- Afternoon snack: a small serving of protein such as yogurt or cottage cheese
- Dinner: lean meat, non-starchy vegetable (no oil or butter), and a small serving of a complex carbohydrate
- Evening snack: half a piece of fruit, such as an apple or a vegetable equivalent
In addition, the patient must consume nearly two liters of liquid (64 ounces), ideally spread out evenly between each meal. However, these drinks must be sugar and fat-free. Examples include:
- Crystal Light
- Kool-Aid (sugar-free)
- Tang (sugar-free)
- Decaffeinated coffee (no sugar)
- Caffeine-free tea (no sugar)
In addition, popsicles (sugar-free) and broth (fat-free) may also be counted towards your daily required liquid intake.
Two days pre-op, the patient will transition to only clear liquids. The night before the surgery, the patient will cease intake of any fluids as the stomach must be empty to ensure a safe surgery.
Are There Side Effects To The Pre-Op Gastric Sleeve Diet?
There are positive side effects to the pre-op gastric sleeve surgery, along with some potentially less pleasant results. They include:
- Easier surgery
- Lower risk of post-op complications
- Less fat around the liver
- Smaller liver
- Hunger pains
- Mood swings
- Diarrhea or constipation
Is The Pre-Op Gastric Sleeve Diet Easy?
The pre-op gastric sleeve diet can be challenging. After all, humans have teeth for chewing, and a high-liquid diet doesn’t feel natural. Thankfully, it is a temporary situation that will raise a patient’s safety and lower their risk of postoperative complications. Thus, it is essential to focus on the ultimate goal: having an easy surgery with a smooth recovery.
Some tips that make the gastric sleeve pre-op diet easier include:
- Purchase everything you need for the eating plan the day before, so all is ready
- Try to rehome any foods that will be difficult to resist while on the pre-op diet
- Consider downloading some meditation apps to guide you through the more challenging moments
- Gather some supportive cheerleaders who will help keep you focused on your goal
- Avoid the scale: losing weight isn’t the goal of this diet; instead, the priority is a safe surgery
- Remember, this is a temporary situation
After Booking My Gastric Surgery, Do I Book Accommodation?
Booking a gastric sleeve surgery with Medi Makeovers will include accommodation and transport before, during, and after the surgery:
- 4 nights at the hospital in a single room
- 10 nights at a 5-star hotel
- Transportation from the airport, hotel, and hospital
We will ensure all your appointments are booked, as well. In addition, there will be a nurse that will visit you at the hotel post-operation.
What Do I Do If My Suitcase Gets Lost During The Flight?
If your luggage is temporarily misplaced by the airline, it will be delivered to the hotel once it is located. In addition, the hotel will be happy to help you with essential toiletry items, such as a toothbrush.
But should you require anything else, it will not be hard to find. The hotel is attached to a shopping centre with 8 air-conditioned levels, sure to have what you require.
What If I Have Questions Post Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Our patients’ care does not end after they leave Thailand. For twelve months, you will have Zoom calls with your surgeon and photo checkups to ensure your postoperative needs are met. At any time if you have questions, please contact your client manager and you will be helped.
How Should I Prepare for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Some of our patients can’t have their gastric sleeve surgery right away due to personal reasons, such as needing to finish up a project at work or waiting until a relative can provide childcare. However, there are things a person can do while they wait for their gastric sleeve surgery that can help improve the postoperative experience.
Ways to prepare for gastric sleeve surgery include:
- Stop smoking; if you are a smoker.
- Start making healthy changes to your diet. You should not begin the pre-op diet until 2 weeks pre-op, but before that period, eating healthier will benefit you, even during the surgery.
- Begin taking a multivitamin if you do not already do so. We can help advise or consult your doctor.
- It’s also a good idea to visit your doctor and get a medical check-up – get your bloods tested etc to ensure you are healthy. If you find any issues, such as a low iron count, you have time to improve those areas with supplements or food as per your doctor’s advice.
- Reduce and eliminate sugary drinks from your life.
- Stop drinking alcohol, as this will help your liver during the surgery.
- Begin finding your cheerleaders that will help you through this life-changing experience.
When Will I Start Losing Weight After Gastric Sleeve?
Weight-loss beings immediately after having a gastric sleeve. Most weight loss will occur in the first six months after the surgery. Typically, our patients lose around 70% of their excess weight after having the procedure, which translates to 25-35 % of their total body weight.
The postoperative weight loss drop can be quite substantial. But as a patient heals, the weight loss slows to about 1kg (2.2 pounds) per week until they reach a healthy size.
Is There A Post-Op Gastric Sleeve Diet?
There is a post-op eating plan after gastric sleeve surgery. The stomach and body have gone through some significant changes; returning immediately to solid foods would be harmful. Thus, to ensure a smooth and complication-free healing process, foods are gradually reintroduced to the newly reduced stomach.
The first-week post-surgery is liquid base, as it is gentlest on the stomach. In addition, patients will be advised to avoid sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Failure to do so could result in:
Carbonated drinks must also be avoided, even if they are sugar-free or caffeine-free. The gas and bloating caused by these drinks can be incredibly painful and hard on your newly reduced digestive system.
As your postoperative recovery progresses, your diet will expand, and the all-liquid regime will fade to the past. Of course, it is advised to stick to healthier choices. However, “real foods” will return to your taste buds, but in smaller portions. That said, you will have to continue taking vitamin supplements. But your surgeon or local physician can discuss your options in this regard.
Medi Makeovers is equipped to ensure their patients can book their gastric sleeve surgery right after they’ve been approved for the process. However, while we can arrange the procedure to be as soon as two weeks post-approval, most patients need a little more time to get their affairs in order before flying out.