Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: What Are the Risks and Side Effects?

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
May 26, 2021
Gastric Sleeve Surgery: What Are the Risks and Side Effects?

Losing weight is never easy; for some people, it seems impossible. If an individual has continuously tried to lose weight through exercise and diet, but nothing seems to work, they may begin to consider surgical interventions. There are a few different procedures that can help those who are trying to lose weight, with one such option being gastric sleeve surgery. Just like any other surgical intervention, gastric sleeve surgery can have great benefits, but it also carries potential risks and side effects. We will break down the potential gastric sleeve side effects below.

What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Firstly, do not confuse gastric sleeve surgery for a gastric bypass, as they are different procedures. Gastric bypass surgery involves surgery on the small intestine whereas a gastric sleeve only involves the stomach. With a gastric sleeve, the surgeon will remove around 80% of the stomach and the remaining portion will be sewn into a “sleeve” form. The idea here is that having a smaller stomach will help the patient feel full much faster than they would with a normal stomach. This can help them lose weight quite quickly.

This is not a procedure that you get if you are a bit overweight. Rather, this procedure is typically for individuals who are 100 pounds or more overweight.

Gastric Sleeve Side Effects

As mentioned above, this procedure can be great for helping individuals lose large amounts of unhealthy weight, but it is important to know the side effects of gastric sleeve surgery. Since this procedure removes a large part of a vital organ, it can be risky and requires careful consideration.

An individual can experience a range of gastric sleeve side effects, especially as they start to rapidly lose weight. Some side effects include feeling cold or tired as well as developing aches, pains, mood changes, dry skin, and more. There are also more serious potential complications from gastric sleeve surgery, such as blood clots, leakage from the stomach, infection, stricture, internal bleeding, gallstones, hernia, and more. It is important to consult with your doctor during your recovery regarding any side effects or concerning symptoms.

Potential Long Term Gastric Sleeve Complications

Some potential long-term side effects can arise because of gastric sleeve surgery. Several of the long-term side effects are related to the significantly decreased nutrient intake because of this surgery. As the stomach surface area is greatly reduced and the individual takes in less food, there are fewer nutrients absorbed into the body. Some of these potential long-term side effects from reduced nutrient absorption include hernias, hypoglycemia, malnutrition, vomiting, acid reflux, and bowel obstruction.

Of course, the most important thing to do is consult with your doctor and surgeon as to whether this procedure is right for you. The doctor will consider every facet of your case and determine whether a gastric sleeve is a good choice. In addition, they will be able to offer the best advice on how to avoid or manage side effects or complications.

Considering Getting a Gastric Sleeve?

If you are struggling with obesity and have considered bariatric surgery, BASS Bariatric Surgery Center is here to help. The doctors here will be able to review your case and determine the right plan of action to address your difficulties. They can also give you an entire rundown of any considered procedure, along with the potential risks or side effects.

We want to help you reach the healthier life that you are striving for. Do not wait. Give BASS Bariatric Surgery Center a call today.

About The Author

Daniel Roman, Content Writer

Daniel Roman is a Digital Content Writer at BASS Medical Group. He received his Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 2021. Daniel has published multiple newspaper articles covering public health issues. His latest was a magazine cover story on pandemics and diseases that he co-wrote with Dr. Elena Conis, a historian of medicine, public health, and the environment.

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