Many people who have been unable to lose weight using the more traditional method of diet and exercise alone, will opt for bariatric surgery. Gastric sleeve is one type of bariatric surgery. The gastric sleeve is less complicated than the gastric bypass or duodenal switch bariatric surgery, and more complex than the gastric band. Gastric sleeve risks are a reality.
Gastric Sleeve Basics
Gastric sleeve bariatric surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is one of the relatively newer types of bariatric surgery. The bariatric surgeon removes about 85% of the stomach which then takes the shape of a sleeve. The gastric sleeve surgery is laparoscopic, meaning that a number of small incisions are made rather than one large one. Viewing tubes are inserted into the incisions to remove part of the stomach.
Gastric sleeve surgery is sometimes part of a staged surgery in which the bariatric procedure is followed by gastric bypass surgery or duodenal switch surgery. This approach makes the second bariatric procedure less risky in patients with super morbid obesity >50 body mass index (BMI).
Gastric Sleeve Considerations
As with any bariatric surgery, the gastric sleeve risks and complications must be weighed against gastric sleeve benefits and health outcomes. The following are some basic points worth considering on the gastric sleeve surgery:
- Eighty-five percent of the stomach is removed during surgery, and a gastric sleeve procedure cannot be reversed.
- The patient must alter eating habits and make healthy choices for the rest of her life
- The stomach sleeve can stretch over time and the weight that has been lost can be regained
- There is no malabsorptive component as the gastric sleeve surgery does not involve intestinal bypass
Gastric Sleeve Risks and Complications
Although studies show less gastric sleeve risks and complications, some of the possible serious gastric sleeve complications are sleeve gastric sleeve leaking, gastric sleeve sleeve stricture, blood clots, and wound infection.
Gastric sleeve leaking is a leaking at the staple line after a large meal. The contents of the stomach can enter the abdominal space and cause infection. Hospitalization would then be necessary.
Gastric sleeve stricture is when the sleeve of the stomach narrows and causes vomiting after meals.
Blood clots can develop in the legs following surgery but compression garments and short distance walking are good preventatives.
Wound infection is rare, especially if the patient is complies with medical recommendations.
Gastric Sleeve: Bottom Line
While there is certainly the potential for gastric sleeve risks and complications, the benefits of this bariatric surgery are many. Improvements in physical well-being and general lifestyle are enjoyed by many following gastric sleeve surgery. Despite the risks and complications, bariatric surgery is considered safe, reasonably-spaking, by the medical community.
Ultimately, gastric sleeve risks should be weighed against the benefits, and conversations with your doctor and several bariatric surgeons, as well as bariatric patients should be had before deciding which is the best bariatric surgery for you.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life