I’m Officially Sleeved: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Back in May, I decided that I was going to have a weight loss surgery consultation. After my surgeon decided I was a good candidate for the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, it was full steam ahead to meet the insurance requirements and mentally prepare me for surgery.

The vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical procedure where about 85% of your stomach is fully removed, and you are left with a stomach “sleeve” that can hold about 4oz. This physically removes many of the receptors that sense how full you are, as well as the hormone producers that tell your brain your stomach is empty, so it’s time to be hungry. With the sleeve, your stomach quickly acknowledges it is full, and can signal to your brain that since you are being well filled, it is okay to start releasing some fat stores. Since mathematically our bodies burn fat stores when the calories consumed are less than the calories we intake, by eating a low calorie diet with the sleeve, most patients are able to see their fat stores deplete quickly with the brain regulating our energy needs.

I know this was not the case with my body before, because instead of burning fat stores, my brain received the signal that I was eating less, and therefore we needed to save every precious calorie and build up fat stores whenever possible. It’s why a 1600 calorie diet didn’t make a difference on my weight, but I was sluggish and tired.

After months of visiting therapists, nutritionists, and my doctor, it was finally time for surgery. On October 29th, 2020, I joined the bariatric surgery club and had my vertical sleeve gastrectomy performed. I’ll be going into the various aspects of my pre-op, hospital, and post-op process on my blog, but as of now, I am home recovering well and just excited to share the main points!

This is a lifelong change, but almost immediately I am seeing my blood pressure steady at a normal rate, and my resting heart rate slow a little closer to the average. It is not a get-skinny-quick tool. In fact, I don’t ever anticipate using the adjective skinny for myself. My goal is to go under 200 pounds, where I know my health and size are comfortable for longevity, but beyond that, my goal is to feel strong.