Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Risks, Complications, and Side Effects

Bariatric Surgery
January 6, 2021
4 min read
Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Risks, Complications, and Side Effects

If you have been trying to lose weight and nothing seems to work, you may want to hear about gastric sleeve surgery. This is a procedure where your stomach is turned into a gastric sleeve so you can’t take in as much food. It does help some people lose weight, but there are also gastric sleeve complications to be aware of. Here are all the risks and side effects involved in getting a gastric sleeve.

What does gastric sleeve surgery do?

Patients who choose to have gastric sleeve surgery have up to 80 percent of their stomach removed during the procedure. The remaining parts are connected and formed into a small gastric sleeve. Since patients are left with a stomach about one-tenth of its original size, they feel full much quicker. Gastric sleeves help patients lose weight very rapidly.

Gastric sleeve surgery is different than gastric bypass surgery. In that operation, a small pouch is formed so food skips most of the stomach and goes straight to the intestine. Each procedure can only be done for certain people. You may be considering getting a gastric sleeve if you are 100 pounds or more over your ideal weight. 

What are the risks of gastric sleeve surgery?  

Gastric sleeve is a somewhat risky procedure, as it takes out a large portion of one of the vital organs. It is also permanent, so carefully consider the risks before getting the surgery. Gastric sleeve complications can include excessive bleeding, infection, negative reaction to anesthesia, blood clots, breathing problems, and leaks from the edge of the stomach where it was cut.

There are long term risks of gastric sleeve surgery as well.  Many of them have to do with the fact that patients take in fewer nutrients than before. Longer-term gastric sleeve complications include gastrointestinal obstruction, hernias, gastroesophageal reflux, hypoglycemia, malnutrition, and vomiting. Talk to your doctor about these risks if you are considering a gastric sleeve.

What are the side effects of gastric sleeve surgery?

As with any surgery, side effects vary from person to person. Remember that gastric sleeve surgery is permanent. People who go through with the procedure have to alter their diet accordingly for the rest of their life. 

For the first week after surgery, patients can only have sugar free, noncarbonated liquids. Pureed foods can be introduced after seven days and continued for the next three weeks, then regular foods after one month. Patients must also take prescribed vitamins: a multivitamin twice a day, a calcium supplement once a day, and a vitamin B-12 injection once a month.

As your body rapidly loses weight in the first few months after gastric sleeve surgery, you may experience a variety of side effects, including aches and pains, feeling tired or cold, dry skin, hair thinning and loss, and mood changes. Contact your doctor if you experience any severe side effects after a procedure.

Should I get a gastric sleeve?

If you are suffering from obesity, the professionals at BASS Bariatric Surgery Center can help. The doctors can talk you through your options, including gastric sleeve surgery. They will help you understand the possible gastric sleeve complications and weigh the risks for your own personal health.

BASS Bariatric Surgery Center has been performing weight loss surgery since 2002, and their complication rate is much lower than the national average. Trust BASS Bariatric Surgery Center with your weight loss needs. Call (925) 281-3711 to learn more.