My Gastric Sleeve Journey – Part One

It has been just over a week since I had my gastric sleeve procedure done and overall, I am doing really well. The decision to have this surgery was not an easy one and a lot of you have been curious about how I got here. So I am sharing some more of my story and answering the most frequently asked questions along the way.

What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Many of you wanted to know a little more about the procedure itself. Gastric sleeve surgery also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, uses stomach stapling to create a “sleeve” shape in the stomach. They remove about 80% of the stomach, leaving only that sleeve intact.

It is typically performed laparoscopically (mine was) through several small incisions in the upper abdomen (I had 4). This limits the amount of food you are able to consume and encourages the body to make hormonal changes that assist with weight loss.

Why I chose bariatric surgery

I have always been very honest about my struggles with weight loss. It has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. I started my first diet when I was 11. That means that I have been “dieting” in some shape or form for over 20 years.

Food became a way for me to cope with trauma and it was almost like a physical wall that I put up to protect myself. Over the years I have binged, restricted, over-exercised, and dieted my way to 300+ pounds.

It came to a point where I realized that I needed help. Help to reset the damage that I have been causing my body (and heart) for so long. My husband and I prayed, did research and came to the conclusion that this was the right choice for me.

Private Pay vs. Insurance:

I personally decided to go through the process of qualifying for coverage with my insurance. Every insurance is different, but I had to be over a certain BMI, meet with a dietician for 3 consecutive months, and have a physc evaluation before I could be qualified.

At my surgeons office, you can private pay for $8,500 but with insurance it cost me just over $800. That savings was worth it to me to have to wait longer for the procedure. Again, every insurance is different but it worth giving them a call to see what their requirements are.

Initial Results:

I started the pre-op liquid diet on 4/21 at 309.3 and by one week post-op, I was 286.5. That is over 22 pounds lost during that two week time frame. This will slow done as I start introducing soft foods into my diet, but I am very encouraged by the progress so far.

Recovery:

Recovery has honestly been great, but I also have a phenomenal support system. My mom came into town and my husband took some time off of work, so I was able to get lots of rest. My incisions are almost completely healed already and I don’t have any pain. I still get some discomfort in my abdomen if I move too quickly or roll over a certain way in bed. I have had minimal nausea and no heartburn at all. My surgeon was really please with how I was healing at my one week follow up.

picture of my incisions

Hardest Parts so Far:

  • Not being able to pick up my 18 month old while my body heals
  • I can’t use food to cope anymore, so I am trying to use healthier methods to process through things (prayer, worship, journaling, spending time outside etc)
  • Not eating meals with my family
  • Getting in enough protein, this has been hard for me so far
  • I cried once when my husband was making a bolognese sauce for dinner, it smelled so good haha

That is all I have for now, but I will be sharing about the process every step of the way. Please leave a comment if you have any other questions and I will do my best to answer them for you.

Love you all,

Sara

2 Comments

  1. I’m in the process of getting the sleeve. Frankly, I’m scared to death of having this surgery. Everything in me says don’t get it, but I’m 304, can’t walk very well because my knees are needing replaced thus for getting the weight loss surgery.
    Orthopedics will not do knee replacement surgery until my BMI is significantly reduced.
    Please pray for me. I want a better life and diets don’t work.
    You’re an inspiration and I pray your journey is going well

  2. How long do you have to be on the liquid diet? How long will it take before you can eat (small portions??) of the same meals your family eats? Thank you so much for sharing your journey while being so candid and honest! You’re so beautiful – your transformation is going to be incredible.. beautiful + fit + healthier + more comfortable!! Really looking forward to reading your updates.. ♡

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