Gastric Sleeve Complications - My Bariatric Life

Patient Expert

Gastric bypass bariatric surgery is one  of type of weight-loss surgery procedure designed to reduce food intake. This surgery is selected by many people who have been unable to shed excess pounds by the more traditional methods of diet and exercise. The procedure is complicated. The patient should anticipate being under anesthesia for one to four hours while the operation is performed and to remain in the hospital for an additional one to seven days. It is probably the better known of the bariatric surgeries, and it is the weight-loss surgery that I had in 2003.

Gastric sleeve bariatric surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy,  is one of the newer types of bariatric surgery. The bariatric surgeon removes about 85% of the stomach causing it to take the shape of a sleeve. The surgery is laparoscopic meaning that a nuber of small incisions are made rather than one large one. Viewing tubes are inserted into the incisions to remove part of the stomach. Gastric sleeve surgery is sometimes part of a staged surgery in which the bariatric procedure will be followed by gastric bypass surgery or duodenal switch surgery. Such an approach makes the second bariatric procedure less risky.

Gastric Sleeve Risks and Complications

As with any surgery, gastric sleeve surgery involves risks and complications, and those risks need be assessed against the benefits through conversation with professionals prior to any commitment. Prior to choosing if gastric sleeve is the right weight-loss surgery for you, consideration may be given to the following:

. The gastric sleeve procedure is not reversible. A portion of the stomach

is removed during surgery.
. The patient must alter eating habits and make healthy choices from

there on
. Poor levels of weight loss or regaining of weight is more possible with

procedures that involve intestinal bypass
. The stomach sleeve can stretch over time and the weight that has been

lost can return
. The surgery is new and the long term risks and overall results are not

yet completely known.

The final bullet point may be, of itself, the greatest risk: Gastric sleeve surgery is irreversible; 85% of the stomach is removed.  At this point, there is but partial clarity as to what the risks are. Let us then block all concerns together under the flag of complications with the understanding that lengthy conversation with medical professionals should be had prior to any type of surgery.

Some of the possible complications involved with gastric sleeve weight-loss surgery are sleeve leaking, sleeve stricture, blood clots, and wound infection.    ** Gastric sleeve leaking** is a leaking at the staple line following a large meal. The contents of the stomach can enter the abdominal space and cause infection. Hospitalization would be necessary at this point.

Gastric sleeve stricture is when the sleeve of the stomach narrows, promoting vomiting after meals.

Blood clots can develop in the legs following surgery but compression garments and short distance walking are good preventatives.

Wound infection is rare especially if the patient is compliant with medical recommendations.

While there are certainly risks and complications involved, the benefits of weight-loss surgery are large. Improvements in physical well-being and enhanced lifestyles and lives are had by many and, despite the risks and complications, such surgeries are deemed reasonably safe by the medical community.

WinkPlease "heart" this article  to support future weight-loss surgery topics on HealthCentral. Thank you!** My Story...**

You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.