With sleeve or gastric sleeve gastrectomy, your stomach will be made smaller by stapling and dividing most of your stomach and pulling it out of your body. The remaining stomach is in the shape of a long, narrow tube with a small food container at the end of the tube. This reservoir only holds about 3 ounces of food, which means you will feel full faster and therefore lose weight.
The sleeve gastrectomy retains the normal valve (pylorus) that allows food to pass out of the stomach. Because of this, the stomach can move food into the small intestine at a normal rate, preventing the discharge syndrome that is common with the gastric bypass procedure. Also, digestive acids and enzymes that help absorb vitamins and minerals are not overlooked during a gastric sleeve, putting you at a lower risk for vitamin deficiencies. However, since your stomach is smaller, it will absorb these substances less efficiently, so you will still need to take vitamin replacements.
As you begin to eat and take medication, there will be some swelling in the tube that will make it difficult for solid foods to pass through. As a guideline, food must be able to pass through a straw, so you are put on a special liquid diet immediately after surgery. The goal is to let the stomach heal; Only fluids and soft solids should be ingested for the first six weeks. Since many pills are quite large and will not fit through the tube, we ask that you crush all medications or take them in liquid or chewable form. You will receive written instructions from your dietitian on the proper diet to follow.