Four Days Post Gastric Sleeve, The good, the bad and the ugly.

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So I last posted on the morning of my surgery (31/03/15), well what a palava!!! Arrived at the hospital and taken through to pre-admission and after 1 1/2 hours was told that my op was being cancelled due to lack of beds, so disheartening and to be honest I just had a gut feeling this was going to happen, anyway I enquire about a private bed and they had one and so the op was back on, although cost me £225 a night but at the end of the day I have been lucky enough to get my surgery on the NHS so a small cost to pay. So after arriving at the hospital at 7am I finally got called to theatre just before 2pm, the staff were lovely and by the time I got to theatre I was so pleased that I was getting my op done that all nerves had disappeared. I arrived back to my room at 18:35, very drowsy slight discomfort for which I was given Morphine in recovery which worked a treat.

So now I will give you the good, the bad and the ugly (from my perspective, of course) and I will do it in reverse.

THE UGLY: So after arriving back on the ward, very drowsy, slightly irritable. my family left and I was attended to by some very nice nurses and my surgeon popped to see me at 8pm. Not so ugly you think, well at 1:30am I started vomiting and nothing stopped it. I had all the anti-sickness drugs they could give me, I was allowed to be on sips of water, it came back up. Oral liquid pain relief came back up, nothing stayed down. I was vomiting 4-5 times per hour. It was horrendous, it was distressing for my family to see and ended up causing a lot of stress for them. I was only meant to have a drip till the following morning but mine stayed up until late morning on the day I was discharged, saved me from dehydration. My surgeon came to see me again and I can remember him telling me that some patients experience sickness and nausea and some don't, and the sickness normally last 24-36 hours and is due to the stomach being reuduced and turning it into a high pressure system until the body gets used to the change. So I started vomiting at 01:30am 01/04/15 and the last time I vomited was approx 16:15 02/04/15 a total of just under 39 hours 😱 another tip, sorry for being so gross, keep your chin covered in Vaseline as the acid from the vomit and the constant wiping of chin/lip leads to red dry skin. 

THE BAD: So despite the sickness I was attended to by some excellent nurses and support workers, until the last day. The discharge from hospital was awful, my TTO drugs were ready in the morning but when I said I was ready to be discharged at 3pm ish nothing was ready, I had no sick note despite being told I would be given a 2 week note and had some horrible male nurse who I had not seen until that morning tell me "well we don't usually give out sick notes for short stays" I was in hospital for 2.5 days, which is irrelevant as it should be based on the surgery not how long you have been in hospital!!!!  My mum had to pick it up the next day and they had dated it from the day I left hospital and not the day I was admitted grrr, fine I will just self certificate for the first two days. If feeling sick make sure you have some sick bowls as the car journey will set you off. So despite being in hospital and having my own room I had the worst sleep ever, when I got home I went straight to bed (approx 4:30pm) and slept on and off until 06:10am best sleep. Also if you are allowed to be on sloppy/puréed food 2 tablespoons maximum and sips of water not at the same time, and eat slowly as it will hurt like nothing else and the pressure is awful. The clexane injections will leave you bruised and tender 😞

THE GOOD: Excellent check ups from the consultant and his registrar, lovely nurses (until the last day) and I promise, promise, promise the sickness stops, the last time I vomited was after the journey home and that was it, the nausea went, I started to feel like me YAH !!!! Top tip ask for pain relief to be given IV if you cannot tolerate oral medicines due to sickness. First day of eating (Friday), was given a sloppy diet meal in hospital didn't stay down!! Was ok a bit tentative eating so was sticking to the 2 tablespoons, second day of eating (today) has gone much better I feel like I have an appetite today, looking forward to eating whereas yesterday was just going through the motions. I have not needed pain relief since leaving hospital until this morning and took a dose of liquid Ibuprofen which helped along with a hot water bottle (I may just have an unnaturally high pain threshold). The best bit since I was weighed at the hospital Tuesday morning (31st) I have lost 11 pounds, one very happy lady.

I hope I haven't bored you but I would have appreciated a few tips before I went into hospital as even though I work in operating theatres (different hospital) I have never been an in patient or had an operation so was a completely new experience for me and despite what I experienced after the op I can truthfully say I did not at any time wish that I had not had the operation done. If all goes ok with your op just believe that everyday you will feel a bit better, today I am having a great day 😀


1 like, 4 replies

4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi - it's good to hear that you are doing well and I think people hoping to have a sleeve, like myself, will find this very useful! Some of it sounds a bit scary but forewarned is forearmed! Keep up the good work x
  • Posted

    Dear Molly, I am booked to have a sleeve at Luton & Dunstable hospital on the NHS. My surgeon said it should be at the beginning of June ,your timetable of events was very helpfull for me, they said it should only be 1 night in hospital but I guess it depends on recovery. I am retired (66) so I don't need to worry about sick notes. When I had my hysterectomy about 5yr ago I was very sick with the morphine, I had a button that I could self administer but every time I pressed the button I vomited 2 mins later, even with anti sickness meds. Keep in touch please & hope you continue to improve. Best wishes Mazz.
  • Posted

    Hi Girls, 

    lI had my sleeve on 26th Jan 2015 and have already lost two and a half stones. I cannot tell you how amazing I feel and how different I already look. 

    LI had a pretty easy ride, I think as I wasn't sick at all. 

    The op itself went well but I was in quite a bit of pain afterwards. I paid privately for my procedure so I don't know if the aftercare is different from NHS but I was in intensive care for 36hrs which apparently is routine for the hospital I was in.

    Day 2 was the worst for me- it was the trapped wind that was a killer- I can honestly say I'd never felt pain like it. The only relief I could get was to walk about and hold my jaw up, this seemed to stretch my oesophagus and little air bubbles would come out- it was a bit like having that space dust we used to have as kids popping in my throat. 

    The wind lasted about 3 days. 

    Other than that, I was just sore from the wounds and the general surgery. 

    Expect a bit of a roller coaster of emotions as you adjust to very little food.. You will get frustrated and there will be a few tears along the way. Some days are good re getting things down, others- just write them off and have a glass of milk- you won't die! Lol! 

    Li have developed a temporary lactose intolerance which became apparent after about week 5 post op so I use the old lactose free milk which is fab and tastes the same. 


    If you have to inject yourselves as I did every day for 6 weeks, ask for some Emla cream when you're discharged or get it from a pharmacy and put it on your tummy about 20 mins before you inject and cover with a bit of cling film. This really helps as it  numbs the area well.

    Get walking as soon as you can.

    Accept its a huge change and you'll have down days- run with it, it gets better! 

    Im now about 10 weeks post op and still have the odd day I can't eat stuff so will just have a glass of milk and won't stress over it. 

    Take your antacid medication- trust me, acid reflux can be a REAL problem- eating when you've got that is virtually impossible! I take Ranitidine every morning now and prob will for the next couple of years but it works a treat. Acid is worse when you've not eaten for ages. ( You have to remember to eat as your stomach doesn't remind you anymore!) 

    good luck girls, it's not an easy journey but it's worth every bit of the ride! xx 😊

    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for replying it's good to have different perspectives. Sounds like you are doing great xxx

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