Obesity is an epidemic and is on the rise worldwide. Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve Surgery is long-term weight loss tool for patients to fight obesity and obesity related disease such as type II diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, joint problems, depression, etc.
Gastric sleeve weight loss surgery is becoming popular and numbers are increasing. Early detection of postoperative complications following sleeve is urgent, including bleeding, staple line leak and development of an abscess. There are delayed complications following sleeve, including strictures, nutritional deficiencies and Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
The potential for complications after gastric sleeve surgery can be dramatically reduced if you follow the preparation and recovery plans given to you by your surgeon. By choosing one of our competent and qualified bariatric surgeons, Mexico Bariatric Center will provide you with the best possible outcome in your weight loss surgery decision. Ultimately, this allows your fears to dissolve.
It’s no secret that when choosing Gastric Sleeve that the benefits of undergoing a gastric surgery should far outweigh the risks of not undergoing the surgery. Please contact our staff today to see if you’re a candidate for gastric sleeve surgery.
Any surgery runs the risk of complications occurring both during and after a surgical procedure. By taking time to understand them fully, you give yourself the opportunity to decide if the risks of Gastric Sleeve seem worth the chance of having the surgery. If you have any questions regarding the complications of weight loss surgery, ask your doctor questions.
Possible complications from gastric sleeve surgery include:
Immediately After Surgery Complications:
Long-Term Surgery Complications
- Hair Thinning;
- Dumping Syndrome;
- Stomach Stretching;
- Stomach Stricture;
- Nutrient Deficiency
The risk of postoperative bleeding has been reported to be between 1% and 6% after gastric sleeve (source). The source of bleeding can be Intraluminal bleeding from the staple line or extraluminal bleeding from gastric staple line, spleen, liver or abdominal wall at the sites of trocar entry.
Diagnosis: Physical findings, serial CBC (Complete Blood Count)
Management: Transfusion with or without laparoscopy/laparotomy
A leak in the stomach or intestine can be proximal leak near gastroesophageal junction or in the body of the sleeve. The body of the sleeve leak can be categorized into mechanical-tissular or ischemic causes. Mechanical-tissular category can be caused by stapler misfiring, by improper closure of the suture area or direct tissular injury. The leak usually appears within two days of surgery. Tissue ischemia in the gastric wall next to the staple line is the other category of gastric leak. The leak appears as a classic ischemic fistulas between 5 and 6 days after surgery.
Stoamch leak needs to be monitored closely after surgery and before a patient is discharged for recovery. Most leaks are diagnosed and treated immediately. Your surgeon will perform several leak tests in the hours and days that follow your surgery to ensure it is safe for you to return home. Up to 5% of patients following gastric sleeve can get staple line leak. Learn more about Gastric Sleeve Leaks.
Diagnosis: Physical findings, UGI (Upper Gastrointestinal) series
Management: Drainage (infrared laparoscopy), antibiotics with or without stenting and/or repair
Intra-abdominal abscess is a collection of pus localized to one area of the abdominal space. It is a rare (0.7%) possible complication following sleeve gastrectomy. Normally staying in the hospital and taking antibiotics clears the abscess.
Diagnosis: CT (Computed Tomography) scan, ultrasound
Management: Drainage, antibiotics
Stricture is narrowing of the sleeve that could present acutely after surgery due to tissue edema or more commonly in a delayed fashion. The symptoms include food intolerance, dysphagia or nausea and vomiting. Chronic strictures usually require endoscopic dilation.
Diagnosis: Chronic Endoscopy, UGI series
Management: Endoscopy (dilatation), surgery (seroyotomy)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is common in the bariatric surgery patients, specially gastric sleeve patients. Unlike Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy does not help GERD and it may contribute to it. Chronic backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus can change the cells lining and can lead to scar tissue that makes it difficult to swallow to cancer.
Diagnosis: Chronic History, endoscopy
Management: Treatment with proton pump inhibitor
Nutritional deficiencies are common after bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve. The is due to impaired absorption and decreased oral intake. Recent study showed the prevalence of vitamin B12, vitamin D, folate, iron and zinc deficiency. In general, the deficiencies is less prevalent after gastric sleeve than Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Routine blood test is recommended after sleeve gastrectomy.
Diagnosis: Chronic Physical findings, blood work
Management: Nutritional supplements
Nausea is one of the most common side effects of Gastric Sleeve Surgery. It is often caused by attempting to eat too much after surgery. Because of the reduction of the stomach, it will be very easy to reach your stomach capacity with a very small amount of food. This is especially true during the first few weeks immediately following your Gastric Sleeve surgery. When you overeat, you will feel nauseous. Please note that nausea can also be caused by not chewing your food enough or by drinking while eating.
It is important that you get into the habit of drinking between meals instead of during meals following your bariatric surgery. The key to avoiding nausea is to eat slowly, take smaller bites, chew your food completely and knowing that you need to stop eating immediately after you begin to feel full.
Hair thinning or “shedding” after bariatric surgery is very common. It is typically caused by the hormonal changes that occur when you start losing weight so quickly. Most of the time, it rarely lasts longer than six months following bariatric surgery.
The good news is that you can count on your hair to start growing again unless you have a chronic illness or genetic reason for hair thinning. Relax and don’t worry! It is natural to lose 5-15% of your hair during the first six months following the procedure; it grows back. Follow the suggested dietary plan and keep up with proper vitamins and protein.
Blood clotting and pulmonary embolism are a rare but serious issue causing shortness of breath, elevated heart rate, heart attack and even death.
You are at a higher risk for blood clot problems if you are obese, smoke, use oral contraceptives, are over 40 years old, experience trauma, are pregnant, have congestive heart failure, varicose veins, have prior blood clot problems, are a cancer patient or have a disorder that causes clotting.
To minimize your risks of a blood clot or pulmonary embolism after gastric sleeve surgery, we recommend walking every day after the surgery and performing calf muscle exercises.
Dumping syndrome is a group of symptoms that develop most likely because of a surgery that was done in order to remove a part or all of a stomach. It can also occur if the stomach has been bypassed to help a patient losing weight. It is often referred to as rapid gastric emptying. Dumping syndrome often happens when the undigested content of the stomach move too fast through the bowel. Some dumping syndrome symptoms include: nausea, diarrhea and cramps.
Dumping syndrome can happen to bariatric surgery patients who eat too much when adjusting to their new stomach capacity. Most of the time the symptoms will happen from one to three hours after eating occurs. Some people may experience them at different times.
In order to prevent these symptoms from occurring, the diet must be adjusted accordingly. In serious cases of dumping syndromes, a patient may need medication or even surgery.
Other Complications and Risks
Some other possible complications or risks include: perforation of the stomach or intestines, injury to the spleen, bowel obstruction, pneumonia (fluid in the chest), heart attack, congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat, stroke, eating disorders, postoperative depression, urinary tract infection, allergic reaction to post-operative medications, gallbladder disease, ulcers, anemia, weight gain and weakness.
It’s important to talk to your doctor and to fully understand all the complications and risks before undergoing any surgery.
Guide to Gastric Sleeve Surgery: