Close-up image of post-operative gastric sleeve incisions showing stages of healing.

Post-Op Gastric Sleeve Incisions: The Healing Process

Recovering from Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Understanding Incision Healing

Gastric sleeve surgery is a popular option for individuals struggling with obesity. One important aspect of this procedure is the incisions made during the surgery, which play a crucial role in your recovery and overall results. In this blog post, we will explore everything you need to know about gastric sleeve incisions – from understanding their purpose to the healing process and proper care. By gaining insight into these aspects, you can ensure a smooth and successful recovery journey after your gastric sleeve surgery.

Understanding Gastric Sleeve Incisions

Gastric sleeve incisions are small cuts made in the abdominal wall to access the stomach during surgery. These incisions allow for the removal of a portion of the stomach and create a smaller, sleeve-shaped organ. The healing process for gastric sleeve incisions typically involves careful wound care and monitoring to ensure proper closure and minimize scarring.

Image showcasing the transformative effects of bariatric surgery in Tijuana at JL Prado Surgical Center

What are Gastric Sleeve Incisions?

Gastric sleeve incisions refer to the cuts made in the abdominal wall during gastric sleeve surgery for access to the stomach. There are different types of incisions, including single-incision and multiple-incision approaches. The location of these incisions is carefully chosen by the surgeon based on individual anatomy, and they are typically small in size to minimize scarring and promote healing.

The Purpose of Gastric Sleeve Incisions

Facilitating access to the stomach, gastric sleeve incisions serve as a crucial step in the surgical process. By creating small cuts on the abdominal wall, surgeons gain access to the stomach for further intervention and manipulation. These incisions allow for precision and control during gastric sleeve surgery, enabling effective treatment of obesity.

Allowing insertion of surgical instruments, gastric sleeve incisions play a vital role in facilitating the entire procedure. Through these carefully placed cuts, surgeons can introduce specialized tools into the abdomen to perform various tasks such as removing a portion of the stomach or suturing it back together. The precise location and size of these incisions are critical to ensure optimal visibility and maneuverability during surgery.

Draining excess fluids during surgery is another significant purpose served by gastric sleeve incisions. As obese individuals undergo this procedure, there may be an accumulation of fluid that needs to be drained from inside the abdomen. These strategically positioned incision points provide an avenue for efficient drainage while minimizing post-operative complications like infection or swelling.

In conclusion, understanding the purpose behind gastric sleeve incisio

The Healing Process of Gastric Sleeve Incisions, post op gastric sleeve incisions.

During the initial healing phase of gastric sleeve incisions, it is crucial to keep the wounds clean and dry. Proper wound care includes changing dressings regularly and following your surgeon’s instructions for cleaning the incisions. It is normal to experience pain, swelling, and bruising during this time, but these symptoms should gradually improve over the first few days.

To minimize scarring and reduce the risk of infection, it is important to avoid picking or scratching at the incision sites. Keep an eye out for any signs of infection such as excessive redness, warmth around the incision area, pus drainage or fever. If you notice any concerning symptoms or have questions about wound care, make sure to contact your healthcare provider promptly.

In terms of long-term healing and scar appearance after gastric sleeve surgery, each individual’s experience may vary. While some scars may fade significantly over time with proper care and treatment options like silicone sheets or gels; others may remain more visible. It’s essential to discuss scar management strategies with your surgeon so that they can recommend suitable options based on your specific situation.

Initial Healing: First Few Days

During the initial healing stage in the first few days after your gastric sleeve surgery, it is crucial to prioritize proper wound care. Keep the incision site clean and dry by gently washing with mild soap and water. Avoid any excessive moisture or rubbing of the area to prevent irritation or infection. Patting the incision dry with a clean towel is recommended for optimal healing.

Managing pain and discomfort can be achieved through prescribed medications as directed by your healthcare provider. It’s important to take these medications as advised to ensure adequate pain relief while allowing your body to heal effectively. Additionally, applying ice packs or using heat therapy under medical guidance may help alleviate discomfort during this period.

Monitoring for signs of infection should also be a priority during these early stages of healing. Watch out for redness, swelling, increased warmth around the incision site, or any drainage that appears unusual in color or odor. If you notice any concerning symptoms like fever, pus formation, or worsening pain at the incision site, contact your surgeon immediately for prompt evaluation and treatment.

Remember that these steps are essential in supporting successful initial healing following gastric sleeve surgery; adhering closely to post-operative instructions will greatly contribute to a smooth recovery process without complications such as scarring or infections

Reducing Scarring and Infection Risk

  • Keep the incisions clean and dry to minimize the risk of infection.
  • Avoid strenuous activities that may strain the incisions, allowing them to heal properly.
  • Follow a proper diet rich in nutrients to promote healing and reduce scarring.

Long-Term Healing and Scar Appearance

Applying scar treatment creams or silicone sheets can help minimize the visibility of gastric sleeve incisions over time. These products promote collagen production and provide a protective barrier, aiding in the healing process. Scheduling regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon is crucial for monitoring your incision sites and addressing any concerns promptly. It ensures that proper healing is taking place and allows for timely intervention if needed. Implementing healthy lifestyle changes, such as maintaining weight loss results through diet and exercise, can also contribute to long-term healing by reducing tension on incisions and promoting overall skin health.

Caring for Your Gastric Sleeve Incisions

Follow your surgeon’s instructions for caring for your gastric sleeve incisions. This includes keeping the incisions clean and dry, as well as changing any dressings as directed. Additionally, it is important to manage pain and discomfort by taking prescribed medications and avoiding activities that may strain the incision sites.

Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions

Wound care is crucial for the healing process of your gastric sleeve incisions. Make sure to clean and dress the incisions as instructed by your surgeon. This will promote proper healing and reduce the risk of infection.

To avoid complications, it’s important to refrain from activities that may strain or open the incisions. Follow your surgeon’s guidance on lifting heavy objects or engaging in strenuous exercises until you have fully recovered.

Taking prescribed medications on time is essential for pain management and overall recovery after gastric sleeve surgery. Adhering to the medication schedule provided by your surgeon will help control any discomfort and ensure a smooth healing process.

Keeping the Incisions Clean and Dry

Gently wash the incision site with mild soap and water to keep it clean. Dry the area thoroughly after showering or bathing to prevent moisture buildup. Apply antibiotic ointment as directed by your surgeon for added protection against infection.

  • Wash the incision site gently with mild soap and water
  • Thoroughly dry the area after showering or bathing
  • Follow your surgeon’s instructions on applying antibiotic ointment

Managing Pain and Discomfort

Taking pain medication as prescribed by your surgeon can help manage any discomfort following gastric sleeve surgery. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and schedule provided by your healthcare provider.

Using ice packs can effectively reduce swelling around the incision sites, providing relief from pain and discomfort. Apply the ice packs for 10-15 minutes at a time, with breaks in between to prevent skin irritation.

After undergoing laparoscopic surgery, where small incisions are made and trocars are utilized, it’s imperative to steer clear of rigorous physical activities during the recovery phase to mitigate pain and discomfort. Unlike open surgery, which requires a more extensive cut, laparoscopic procedures, especially the single incision laparoscopic technique, involve smaller stitches. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to engage in gentle motions, like brief walks or light stretching exercises suggested by your surgeon, as these can aid in promoting circulation without exacerbating discomfort.



How can I care for a gastric sleeve incision?

Caring for a gastric sleeve incision is an important part of the post-operative healing process. Proper care can help prevent infection and promote optimal healing. Here are some steps you can take to care for your gastric sleeve incision:

1. Keep the incision clean: Gently clean the incision site with mild soap and water. Avoid using harsh or scented products as they may irritate the incision. Pat the area dry with a clean towel or let it air dry.

2. Cover the incision: After cleaning, cover the incision with a sterile dressing or adhesive strips. This can help protect the incision from dirt and bacteria, reducing the risk of infection. Change the dressing as directed by your healthcare provider.

3. Monitor for signs of infection: Keep an eye out for any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, warmth, or drainage from the incision site. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

4. Avoid picking or scratching the incision: It’s important to resist the urge to pick or scratch at the incision, as this can introduce bacteria and delay the healing process. If you experience itching, gently pat the area or use a cold compress to soothe the itchiness.

5. Follow your surgeon’s instructions: Your surgeon will provide specific instructions for caring for your gastric sleeve incision. It’s crucial to follow these instructions closely to ensure proper healing. This may include avoiding certain activities, such as


Proper care and monitoring of gastric sleeve incisions is crucial for a successful healing process. By following post-operative instructions diligently, such as keeping the incision clean and dry, changing dressings regularly, and taking prescribed medications on time, you can minimize the risk of complications. Additionally, it is important to stay patient during the healing process as individual recovery times may vary. Remember to listen to your body’s signals, communicate any concerns with your healthcare provider promptly, and allow sufficient time for complete healing before resuming normal activities.

× How can I help you?