Risks of Sleeve Gastrectomy

  • It is important to remember that there are no ironclad guarantees in any kind of medicine or surgery. There can be unexpected outcomes in even the simplest procedures. Sleeve gastrectomy is irreversible and does carry a small risk of a leak or bleeding from the new staple line in the early post-operative period.

    Sleeve gastrectomy patients cannot produce enough intrinsic factor to process vitamin B12, so they must take B12 supplements for life. We also recommend that you take regular vitamin supplements to replace what you may not get in your new diet.

    In order for the procedure to be successful, you must follow a strict diet after surgery. Careful eating habits and exercise patterns are vital for long-term success.

    Patients who undergo sleeve gastrectomy are at an increased risk of developing blood clots in their legs that can travel to their lungs. Early walking, the use of compression boots, anti-embolism stockings, and small doses of blood thinning agents help lower this risk.

    Other Post-Surgery Issues

    Patients who undergo bariatric surgery must make a lifelong commitment to eat healthy, exercise, and adhere to strict dietary guidelines. The lifestyle changes can seem overwhelming at first and can strain relationships within families and between married couples. To help patients achieve their goals and deal with the changes surgery and weight loss can bring, Memorial Health Bariatrics offers support groups, counseling, and continuing education.

    Ultimately, the decision to have the procedure is entirely up to you. After having heard all the information, you must decide if the benefits outweigh the side effects and potential complications. This surgery is only a tool. Your ultimate success depends on strict adherence to the recommended dietary, exercise, and lifestyle changes.