Although gastric sleeve is considered to be a relatively safe and effective weight loss method, as with any surgery there are a number of risks involved. Complications can occur immediately following the surgery or months after the procedure has been completed. Some of the most serious complications that can occur include:
It normally occurs within the first 24 hours after surgery as a result of the long incision line in the stomach. Symptoms include: dizziness, shortness of breath, a rapid pulse and minimal urine production. Since it is a common complications patients are required to spend the first 24 hours in the hospital. Severe bleeding will require blood transfusion and hospital monitoring.
It is a severe but relatively rare complication. It occurs when a gap develops alongside the staple line and the stomach juice manages to leak into the abdominal cavity. Symptoms include: dizziness, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, fever and left chest pain. The only treatment option is another surgery to avoid severe infection, multiple organ failure and ultimately death.
It is a rare problem, but it can be fatal. Obese patients are more likely to develop clots in their leg that can break off and reach the lungs causing pulmonary embolism. The best treatment method is prevention. Patients will be given a blood thinner before surgery but they are also required to stay as active as possible.
The problem typically occurs within one week after surgery. Symptoms include: redness of the wound, thickening of the skin and fever. Treatment options include cleaning of the wound and oral antibiotics, but no hospital stay is necessary.
It is a rare complication that consists in the collection of pus in one area of the abdominal cavity. Symptoms include: rapid heart rate, fever and occasionally vomiting. Treatment options include draining of the pus and oral antibiotics.
It is a condition characterized by the narrowing of the stomach as a result of excessive scarring. Symptoms include: the inability to tolerate solid foods by patients who had no such problems in the first months following the procedure. Treatment options include dilatation with the help of a balloon.
It occurs in case the tube shaped stomach twists. Symptoms include: vomiting and abdominal pain. Treatment options include various therapies; however surgery might also be necessary.
Besides these more severe problems patients might face other less severe side effects, manageable with medication like indigestion. Complications are not foreseeable, so patients are advised to monitor their own health closely and contact their surgeon immediately if worrying signs occur.
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M.D., FRCSC, FACS, FASMBSSee Profile
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M.D., M.S.See Profile