What happens next?
After surgery, you will most likely stay in the hospital overnight or until your doctor feels you are well enough to recover at home. It will take several weeks for your stomach to heal from the surgery, so your diet will be very different for a while as your body adjusts. We will be with you every step of the way to help you succeed.
Weight loss surgery is a lifetime commitment. Your surgeon will recommend a schedule for visits based on your surgery and health care needs. Even after you reach your goal weight, your medical team will still monitor your health to be sure you stay healthy.
Even when you’re feeling better, you should know that weight loss surgery is a lifetime commitment. You will need to have follow-up appointments with your medical team and learn healthy eating habits that will help you maintain your weight even after you’ve reached your weight loss goals.
The Weight Management team at Children’s Mercy works with kids and teens every day. It’s a good idea to spend some time talking with your doctor and your family about how weight loss surgery will affect you in the long term. There are some topics that may not be of concern to you now, but can have a significant impact on your adult life. Part of your care plan will be helping you prepare for these moments so you know how to handle them when the time comes.
For instance, studies have shown that teens with severe obesity who underwent stomach reduction surgery to lose weight also significantly improved their heart health.
Another example is, after surgery, as an adult you will have to be very careful about consuming alcoholic beverages. Your doctor may recommend that you drink only small amounts of alcohol, or avoid it altogether, depending on your circumstances.
Another area for girls and women to consider is the impact of weight loss surgery on your fertility, or ability to get pregnant. Infertility—difficulty getting pregnant—can often be a complication of obesity. Many women experience a positive change in their fertility after weight loss surgery, where their menstrual cycles become more regular and they’re more likely to conceive. This may mean you need to think about birth control if you do not want to become pregnant.
Your surgical team
Children's Mercy is the only hospital in the region with two fellowship-trained pediatric surgeons who perform the gastric sleeve operation. The surgical team also includes fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologists, as well as pediatric nurses and other support staff, including dietitians, social workers and psychologists. They are all experts in taking care of children and teens.