Mon - Fri : 08:30 am - 4:30 pm (02)
Laparoscopic & Hepatobiliary Surgeon
Newtown & Wollstonecraft

Post-operative instructions Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve Gastrectomy Operation


After the Sleeve Gastrectomy there is some swelling around the stomach. In addition, the stomach has a much smaller volume than previously. This means that the stomach will be relatively restrictive because of the post-operative swelling. During the first weeks after surgery the stomach is healing along the staple line. It is of utmost importance not to over pressurise the stomach. It is therefore important to slowly introduce solid food.

It is recommended that you drink plenty of fluids over the first week or so to prevent dehydration. Most people will be able to drink a lot in one go, but if you are unable to do this then you should drink a little frequently until you can.

Start with simple fluids (like water) initially, and progress to Protein/Energy drinks. The protein drinks will help your body to heal and recover from the surgery and the optifast dieting.

In the first seven days or so take fluids only that could be sucked through a straw.

The next 3 weeks: gradual transition to thickened fluids and purees. In total that means only purees and thickened fluids for 4 weeks.

Then, after 4 weeks, soft foods, gradually thickening up through well cooked pasta and rice to solid food by the fourth week.


Day 1 after surgery Sips of thin Fluid
Day 2 to Day 10 Liquid nourishment, thin fluids
Day 10 to Day 28 Pureed food, thick fluids
Week 4-6 Soft food
Week 6 + Post phasing-in diet plan, your dietician can help you with this
  • Don’t forget to see your dietician in the post-op period.
  • Take a chewable or dissolvable multivitamin daily.

The first 6 weeks after surgery are about healing rather than weight loss!


Mild discomfort after your surgery is not uncommon
For pain relief:

take Panadol, Panadeine, Panadeine Forte, or Endone as prescribed
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (egBrufen) can also be taken if
the discomfort is still troublesome. This will work together with Panadol type drugs.

Call the Hospital if the pain is severe and increasing


You can shower within 12 hours after your surgery
The dressings are waterproof and will resist water from a shower
You should not take a bath or swim until the wounds are dry
Keep the waterproof dressings in place for 1 week
Peel the dressings off just before a shower at 1 week after surgery
There will be a little blood stained fluid under the dressings, just rinse it off in the shower and dab dry with a clean towel


The wounds are closed with buried, dissolving sutures and ‘steri-strips’
You do not need to have stitches removed
The paper steri-strips can be peeled off with the dressings or when they start to lift on their own
Wound infection is an uncommon complication of surgery, but might require treatment:
Contact Dr Crawford or your GP if you are worried or:
There is increasing pain, redness, smell or discharge from the wound


It is recommended that you have 7-14 days off work and no heavy lifting (more than a chair) for 4 weeks
You should avoid rigorous, competitive sport for 6 weeks
You can drive as soon as you can safely control the vehicle (usually a few days to a week after surgery)


Take routine medications from the day after surgery
It is recommended that you start a multivitamin daily once you are eating comfortably

Follow Up:

If you have not already booked a follow up appointment, please phone the rooms and book an appointment for 3-4 weeks’ time

Contact Numbers:

Dr Crawford (Newtown and Mater Rooms) 02 9565 4854
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital 02 9515 6111
The Mater Hospital 02 9900 7300