Hunger Pains & Stomach Growling 5 Days After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Question Below Submitted By:  

Staci (a patient from CO)

I had the gastric sleeve done 9/8/15 and the second day post op I started getting hungry. The hunger pains I’m experiencing are some of the worst I’ve ever experienced.

I drink water and drink my protein shakes and today was the first day I could hear my stomach growling.

Please help. I feel discouraged at this point. Will it always be this way?

Bariatric Surgery Source

Expert Responses to the Question Above

Surgeon response to "Hunger Pains & Stomach Growling 5 Days After Gastric Sleeve Surgery"

by: John Rabkin, MD


I've learned over the years that the early post-operative experience is quite variable from patient to patient.

You are very early in your weight loss surgery (WLS) journey and the hunger pains that you're experiencing as well as the "growling" from your stomach will likely resolve over time.

Be patient, and take advantage of your fellow WLS colleagues' experiences who've traveled this path before you to help you anticipate what you'll be experiencing next as you progress recovering after your Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG.)

If you aren't already actively participating in your WLS support group, I'd recommend that you do so as it will help smooth your recovery.

In the interim, while early in your post operative course, I find that eating small, more frequent meals may help to alleviate these symptoms that you are having.

Although this could potentially interfere with/slow your weight loss from your purely 'restrictive' WLS procedure, as long as you limit this activity to just the first several weeks of your recovery until you are feeling better and don't 'abuse' this practice (ie: continue to eat frequent meals for a protracted period of time following your surgery) and don't eat high calorie foods, the overall negative impact on your weight loss ultimately should be minimal.

John Rabkin,
M.D. Pacific Laparoscopy

(click here for Dr. Rabkin's full bio & contact info)

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.

Related Pages:
- Bariatric Surgery Recovery


Patient Responses to the Question Above


by: Staci

Thank you. I am drinking the pre mixed Premier 30g protein shakes so they are pretty thin. I have been drinking water afterwards. It's still tough getting my 60 grams of protein down on top of my water.

protein shakes

by: Anonymous

Be sure that you are NOT drinking water AFTER your protein drinks for at least a half hour or longer, not even sips. Also be sure that you are making your protein drinks using as little water as possible so they are thick and pass slower through your stomach. If you are still hungry, add another protein shake or two each day.

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