Top 5 Gastric Sleeve Surgery Complications

patient sitting on hospital bed

Obesity 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.

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