Hospital stay for gastric sleeve: pack your suitcase

Gastric sleeve surgery is a significant procedure that requires careful planning and preparation, including a post-surgery hospital stay. Understanding what to expect during this time is essential for a smooth and successful recovery. In this article, we will discuss the typical length of hospital stay after a gastric sleeve surgery, the care and monitoring provided during this time, and tips for a comfortable and quick recovery. With the right information and support, you can feel confident and prepared for your hospital stay for gastric sleeve and the journey ahead.

How long is the hospital stay for gastric sleeve surgery?

Typically, the hospital stay for gastric sleeve surgery is one to three days, but it can vary depending on the patient’s individual needs and the surgeon’s recommendations. Some patients may be able to go home the same day as the procedure, while others may need to stay in the hospital for observation or to manage any potential complications. It’s important to follow the instructions provided by your surgeon and medical team to ensure a safe and successful recovery.

How will I spend my time at the hospital?

So, what happens after your weight loss surgery? Let’s assume your hospital stay takes the average, which is 3 days. The first day will be the day of your surgery and basically, you will spend your time recovering from anesthesia. On the second day, you need to rest and be active. You will be discharged after your test results analysis on the last day.

Day 1: The day of the surgery

On the day of your surgery, just after the operation, your doctor will visit you with the medical team to check on you. They will explain to you how the operation went. You can ask all your questions and share your doubts or worries.

Try not to lie down on your back unless you are sleeping. You may also try sleeping in a sitting or half-sitting position if that makes you feel comfortable. We recommend that patients start being active quickly after their gastric sleeve.

You should be able to get out of your bed in the evening. You can then take a short, 10-15 minute walk. You will get special drips that contain painkillers and enough nutrition that your body needs. However, if you feel like you need additional pain medication, you can ask your doctor or medical staff for help.

About three hours after the procedure you will already be spending your time in a vertical position, that is sitting on the bed. You can also go to the toilet or take a light walk on your own. If you find it difficult, do not hesitate to ask the nursing staff for help.

Here are some things to consider before your hospital stay for gastric sleeve:

  1. After your gastric sleeve operation, you may have problems with the gas release. It is a common issue and you can manage it easily. You may climb up the stairs – it’s a good way to get rid of your trapped gas pain and for gas release.
  2. You can shower 48 hours after your operation, not earlier. For this reason, it’s best if you use some refreshing towels, and wet wipes and change your clothes often. In this way, you will feel cleaner and more comfortable during your hospital stay for gastric sleeve.

Day 2: Resting and being active

You will spend your second day in the hospital staying active. On the second day of your hospital stay, you are going to take short walks and climb up the stairs. When resting, you may spend some time reading books, playing games, or with some other similar items you brought with you to make the time pass smoothly. You can talk to the medical staff anytime you feel uncomfortable or in case you have any questions.

You may want to check our article on how to sleep after your gastric sleeve.

Day 3: Discharge day

The last day of your hospital stay for gastric sleeve will start with medical checkups. You will undergo some blood tests. Then your doctor will visit you and check if you are good to go home. You will get all your post-hospital recommendations and the hospital staff will answer any questions you may have.

The doctor will make a leak test under X-ray control. You are going to swallow a special contrast before and then your radiologist will check if there are any possible leaks in your stomach. (1)

If you fulfill the discharge criteria, you will get a discharge and any necessary prescriptions you need. The risk of major complications is really almost impossible at this moment. Do not worry, you are in good hands! You can happily go back home, and safely continue your recovery after surgery. (2)

Let's prepare your hospital bag together!

You need to keep in mind that you will get serums that will supply all your nutritional and hydration needs. However, you may feel dehydrated sometimes. Considering all the situations and possibilities, you might want is a list of what to bring in. Whether the hospital provides you with a checklist or not, we prepared a list for you. It will give you an idea of what to pack and bring with you for your gastric sleeve hospital stay:

  • Documents, test results, and your medical documentation,
  • Mobile phones and other electronic devices,
  • Comfortable clothes, underwear, compression garment and shoes,
  • Towel, cosmetics, and other personal hygiene products.

In case, you want to add something to the list, you can download the pdf down below.

In each hospital room, there is a wardrobe and a cabinet for gastric sleeve patients’ personal belongings. Apart from all the necessary items, there are many things that will be useful to pack to make you feel even more relaxed and comfortable during your hospital stay for gastric sleeve. During your hospital stay you need to be comfortable, so you may need to reach your needs as quickly as you can.

It may be better if you don’t bring any jewelry, watches, large amounts of cash, or other valuables with you. Some hospitals provide safe boxes though. If you need one, it’s best to get this information from the hospital you will stay at.

Will I eat anything during my hospital stay?

You will not eat anything during your hospital stay for gastric sleeve. You also should not drink any water right away after the surgery. Instead, you will get some special drips three times a day that will help with your dehydration and pain. What is even better, they are also going to provide you with all the nutrition you need.


(1) Yolsuriyanwong K, Ingviya T, Kongkamol C, Marcotte E, Chand B. Effects of intraoperative leak testing on postoperative leak-related outcomes after primary bariatric surgery: an analysis of the MBSAQIP database. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2019 Sep;15(9):1530-1540. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2019.06.008. Epub 2019 Jun 17. PMID: 31474524. Link

(2) Binda A, Jaworski P, Ciesielski A, Tarnowski W. Stricture after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy – case report. Oncological and Digestive Tract Surgery, Medical Centre of Postgraduate Education, Warszawa. Postępy Nauk Medycznych, t. XXVIII, nr 9, 2015. Link

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