Alcohol consumption after Sleeve Gastrectomy
When to start drinking alcohol after sleeve gastrectomy is one of the questions frequently asked by our patients. Because lifestyle changes are quite important after sleeve gastrectomy, it is important for patient who consumed alcohol before sleeve gastrectomy to know how to add alcohol to their diet after surgery.
After sleeve gastrectomy, the way the stomach digests food changes. Alcohol tolerance is significantly lowered. Because the stomach is greatly reduced, alcohol mixes with the blood more quickly. Therefore, the effects seen when 3-4 glasses of alcohol are consumed before may be seen even in quite low amounts in the early postoperative periods. If attention is not given to the rapid absorption of alcohol, it may even cause a sudden increase in the amount of alcohol in the blood and alcohol poisoning.
There are three main reasons for alcohol to be harmful to the patients who had obesity surgery. First reason is that alcohol has too many calories. This may affect the weight loss success after surgery and weight control in the long term. Second reason is that alcohol mixes with blood much faster in patients who had surgery. Therefore, alcohol can easily reach toxic levels in the blood especially in the early stages of surgery. Third reason is that some of the alcoholic drinks are carbonated. Especially, consumption of carbonated drinks may cause indigestion problems and enlargement of the stomach more than expected in the long term.
Therefore, we recommend our patients with gastric tube not to consume acidic-carbonated drinks such as beer for life and to consume other non-acidic alcoholic drinks carefully at least 6 months after the surgery. Alcohol consumption poses a risk in terms of regaining weight, especially after bariatric surgery in the long term. Therefore, patients who had bariatric surgery should be quite careful about alcohol consumption throughout their lives.