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what is gastric sleeve surgery

Top 5 Gastric Sleeve Surgery Complications

gastric sleeve complicationsObesity is said to be a silent killer because it poses increased risk for tons of co-morbidities like cancer, hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypercholesterolemia.

Gastric sleeve surgery is relatively new amongst the lineup of approved weight loss surgical procedures but it has already raked in a lot of positive reviews from patients and medical practitioners alike. This is said to produce around 60% of rapid weight loss in the first year after having undergone surgery. This is proven to be a safe and effective weight loss procedure alongside gastric bypass and Lap Band.

Weight loss surgeries such as the Gastric Sleeve carry some risks and complications alongside the benefits of a slimmer and healthier body.

Check out the top 5 gastric sleeve surgery complications:

  1. Deep Vein Thrombosis. Blood clots can happen right after any surgical operation. This is likely to happen with impaired blood flow due to lack of mobility. Signs and symptoms of thrombosis would include loss of sensation, pain, swelling, redness, paleness, and paralysis. This is very alarming because it could trigger heart attack, stroke, and could even lead to death. It is advisable to stop smoking and also to remain physically active right after surgery.
  2. Staple Line Leaks. This could happen at the first week after surgery. Physicians would often take precautionary measures and double check on the staple line with gastric sleeve surgery to avoid leakage. There is a minimal risk or around 2.4% probability that staple lines would occur postoperatively but still needs caution. If the patient experiences dyspnea, increased heart rate, and fever – call 911 right away.
  3. Stricture. This pertains to the inflammation of the stomach lining and opening which restricts food passage. Common signs and symptoms to watch out for are the following: nausea, vomiting, food intolerance, and difficulty in swallowing. Strictures can be serious but when detected shortly after surgery, this can be treated effectively rest, intravenous fluids, and nothing by mouth.
  4. Surgical Site Infection. If the patient is obese, this poses increased risk of wound site infection. This is considered to be the most common gastric sleeve surgery complication which happens in relatively 10% to 15% of most cases postoperatively. If you observe redness and heat at the surgical site, fever, dizziness, or increased hear rate – call your doctor immediately for treatment to avoid necrosis and further complications.
  5. Gallstones. This is also a common complication seen in Gastric Sleeve patients which occur in 23% of most cases usually within two years postoperatively. Most patients who have developed gallstones would exhibit signs and symptoms such as vomiting, pain, nausea, bloating, and heartburn. A surgical operation could follow with the development of gallstones to avoid severity of complications.

Gastric Sleeve surgery is considered to be the safest weight loss procedure today because it has the lower reoperation and complication rates as compared to other surgical methods for trimming off extra pounds. Complications can happen at any point during or after surgery and it is best to take heed of the signs and symptoms of complications to know when to seek medical help.


How to Deal with Loose Skin after Gastric Sleeve Surgery

As you add up in years, the skin loses its elasticity. You would notice sagging or loose skin especially after having undergone gastric sleeve surgery. This is albeit normal because of the weight loss experienced post-operatively. This also means that the surgery was effective and you have lost a considerable amount of weight even on a short notice. Depending on your age at the time of surgery, your skin may not be that elastic enough to respond well with the weight loss happening after going under the knife and thus result to loose skin.

Here’s what you can do to deal with sagging or loose skin after gastric sleeve surgery:

  • Build more muscles by being actively involved in a regular workout or exercise program that works specifically on problem areas of the body like in the stomach, under the arms, and buttocks. Tone and tighten your muscles by engaging in resistance or weight training and weightlifting. Try squat exercises for the lower body, lunges for the upper thigh, planks for the stomach, bicep curls for the arms, and crunches for the abs.
  • Be patient. As doctors would say – experiencing loose skin is normal and is even a positive indication that you are losing weight all at the right places. If you want to correct the sagging skin by surgery, you will have to wait for 12 months before you can get a surgical remedy to improve loose skin. You should allow ample time for your body to recover and stabilize. By that time, the skin could have possibly tightened up on its own and would not warrant any surgical intervention.
  • Use salt scrubs. This is said to be very effective in improving skin elasticity after gastric sleeve surgery. You can use sea salt scrubs or any other variety of salt scrubs in the market. Indulge in a salt scrub at least twice every day while you are in the shower and see how it transforms your sagging skin quite effectively. Scientists believe that the use of salt scrubs improves and increases blood flow; which in turn helps tighten and make the skin firmer.
  • Massage Therapy. Pamper yourself by having a deep and invigorating massage therapy which does not just tighten up the skin but also helps you relax and de-stress after long hours of work.
  • In order to achieve a healthy, glowing, and firm skin, you need to drink lots of water. Avoid drinking too much caffeine or soda which can be dehydrating. You need to keep up with your required water consumption in order to achieve an elastic skin even after gastric sleeve surgery.
  • Full or Partial Body Lift. Consult your doctor if you would require or need a full or partial body lift to help improve the condition of your sagging skin. Weigh your options together with your physician to determine what would work for your body needs.
  • Practice Yoga. Focus on your core by doing yoga every day or at least thrice a week. Yoga helps eliminate stress and help with your flexibility which in turn improves the appearance of your loose skin.
  • Fruits and Veggies. It is recommended to eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day to improve skin elasticity and keep you well-nourished. Fruits and veggies have high water content which keeps your skin well-hydrated in the process.
  • Tummy tuck or other forms of corrective surgery can be considered if the sagging or excess skin does not improve even after six months or longer. Consult your physician for recommendations on surgical interventions that would fit your health condition.

Knowing what to expect after having gastric sleeve surgery would help you deal effectively with the upshots. The above tips would greatly benefit not just the appearance of sagging skin brought about by weight loss but also improve your overall health.