For those who have undergone weight loss surgery, the idea of preparing for a procedure like a colonic, colonoscopy, or any other similar procedure can be extremely daunting. After all, if you’ve undergone a serious operation like a sleeve gastrectomy, you have made irreversible changes to an internal organ – it’s only fair to be cautious of undergoing any further procedures or causing any issues for your new stomach sleeve.
However, whether you’ve undergone bariatric surgery or not, there are instances where a colonoscopy or similar procedure may be required diagnostic or general healthcare checks.
If you’re wondering “Can you have a colonic after gastric sleeve?”, you’ve come to the right place. As Newcastle and Sydney’s leading weight loss surgery clinic, Dr Ken Wong and Central Coast surgery are well poised to answer all queries regarding procedures after gastric sleeve surgery.
Let’s start by understanding the basics:
What is a colonic?
A colonic refers to a colon cleansing procedure wherein a practitioner streams water into the colon in an effort to remove waste that has accumulated in the colon area and bowels. Colonics have become more popular as a weight loss method in recent years, but are actually required for those that may be suffering from severe constipation or waste build up.
In the case of colonics and colon irrigation purely for the purpose of weight loss, this procedure can be extremely controversial, dangerous when frequent, and will not be effective as a long-term weight loss solution. There are risks associated with colonics and the procedure should only be undertaken where the patient is experiencing serious digestive concerns.
Now, onto gastric sleeves:
How does your stomach change with a gastric sleeve?
Before we can jump into whether or not colonics are safe after gastric sleeve procedures, it’s important to understand the physiology behind a sleeve gastrectomy.
A gastric sleeve procedure involves a bariatric surgeon sectioning off and surgically removing a portion of the stomach, resulting in a much smaller ‘sleeve’ as a stomach.
So, can you have a colonic after gastric sleeve surgery?
Yes – you can have a colonic after gastric sleeve surgery. As the procedure of a gastric sleeve only changes the structure of the stomach, this should cause no issue and you will be able to have a colonic.
However, it’s important to remember that the procedure (gastric sleeve that is) is a major operation – patients will need to wait at least 6 weeks before undergoing any type of invasive procedure, including a colonic.
Gastric sleeve surgery can change the way that you ingest food and digest what you’ve put in your body. As such, for some patients, they may find that they experience things like constipation, heartburn, bloating, and diet difficulty afterwards.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak to your bariatric surgeon who can provide you tailored advice on how to regulate your digestion. For some, this will include looking into a colonic procedure after a gastric sleeve (assuming you’ve spoken to your weight loss physician) to help move things - literally - along.
What about a colonoscopy after gastric sleeve?
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that can detect disorders such as colitis, diverticulitis, Crohn’s Disease, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
It is possible for gastric sleeve patients to have a colonoscopy after their procedure – after they have recovered from the operation. As bowel prep is required prior to a colonoscopy, those with a gastric sleeve will need to implement an alternative method of bowel preparation as opposed to traditional liquid diets.
If you need to have a colonoscopy, it’s important to ensure that the practitioner is aware that you have had a gastric sleeve operation. They will be able to provide clear instructions on how to prepare for the procedure without causing any issues for your stomach. It’s also worth reaching out to your bariatric surgeon for advice on how to best prep for a colonoscopy.
Healthy weight loss after gastric sleeve
If you’re considering a colonic after a gastric sleeve for weight loss benefits, we urge you to speak to your weight loss surgeon first. Many patients experience weight gain after the initial loss experienced following a gastric sleeve surgery. This is because despite undergoing life-changing weight loss surgery, patients are unable to stick to healthy lifestyle behaviours that are going to enable excess weight to continue falling off.
While the fastest growing type of weight loss surgery in Australia and globally, gastric sleeve surgery is not the long term secret to weight loss if you’re not prepared to change the behaviours that have led to excess weight gain. Gastric sleeve surgery is most effective in those who continue to exercise, eat small portions, and consume a healthy diet, long after they’ve had the procedure.
A colonic is not going to help you magically drop weight gained after a gastric sleeve. Colon cleansing can help to flush unwanted material from the colon and bowel area, but it is a healthy, fresh, fibrous diet that will improve your digestive system in the long run.
If you’re interested in learning more about colonics and other procedures after gastric sleeve, or breaking a weight loss plateau after gastric sleeve surgery, get in touch with the experts at Central Coast Surgery. One of Australia’s leading weight loss clinics, Dr Ken and his expert team can provide comprehensive, professional advice on gastric sleeve surgery, managing weight loss, and procedures after your gastric sleeve operation. Begin your weight loss transformation with gastric sleeve Newcastle specialists guiding your journey.