Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Safe?

Many who are considering weight loss surgery know gastric sleeve surgery is one of the most least-invasive procedures that produce high-quality expected weight loss results. With so many benefits, many potential patients wonder – is gastric sleeve surgery safe?

The short answer is yes.

Actually, gastric sleeve surgery has lower risks and complications than most other bariatric procedures, making it as safe or safer than top-performing procedures. But let’s dive in further.

Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Safe

Why is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Safe?

For those struggling with obesity, gastric sleeve surgery is the premier medical choice for rapid excess weight loss. In 2015 alone, over 53% of all weight loss procedures performed was a newer procedure known as the gastric sleeve.

The restrictive-only technique makes gastric sleeve safer than gastric bypass and duodenal switch, which changes the patient’s anatomy. Through only removing 80-85% of the stomach, gastric sleeve surgery has a shortlist of potential complications and risks.

The frequency of gastric sleeve surgery has increased by 300% since 2011, as more and more bariatric surgeons recommend this unique and simple procedure.

With the gastric sleeve, the surgeon removes between 75% to 85% of the stomach pouch and then connects the stomach back together. Part of the stomach pouch that is removed is also responsible for the ghrelin hormone – the hormone that plays a role in feeling hungry.

Unlike gastric bypass and duodenal switch, the gastric sleeve doesn’t require any changes to the intestines and is a less complex surgical procedure.

Risks of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Because it is a new surgery, it’s not uncommon to be concerned about the gastric sleeve safety, dangers, and risks that could potentially affect your health. The good news about gastric sleeve safety is that there are very few risks beyond those included in any type of surgery.

  • Reaction to anesthesia.
  • Bleeding issues and infection after recovery.
  • Stress to the heart and body made worse by obesity.

Surgery has come a long way, but all surgery carries an inherent risk. The gastric sleeve does have fewer risks than other bariatric surgery procedures because it is both simpler for the surgeon and involves fewer significant alterations to the body.

Possible Gastric Sleeve Complications

Kristen Noel Gastric Sleeve in Mexico 2020

The laparoscopic gastric sleeve is also less likely to have long-term complications. The only safety issue specific to gastric sleeve surgery is leakage at the staple line. It is a very rare complication, but a small risk that can affect obese patients.

Possible Immediate Complications After Gastric Sleeve Surgery:

  • Hemorrhage or Bleeding
  • Stomach Leak
  • Abscess

Although it’s possible to develop food sensitivities, there are almost no food restrictions with gastric sleeve. Recovery tends to be easy, but like all bariatric surgeries it will be important you stick to a strict liquid-based diet at first and integrate other foods according to your doctor’s instructions.

You will also need to be careful of developing vitamin deficiencies, but these are less common and less severe than other forms of bariatric surgery because the digestion process is not bypassed. Your surgeon will provide you with any additional risks, but compared to other forms of bariatric surgery the risks are low.

Long-Term Complications

There are mainly two types of complications in gastric sleeve:

  • Acute complications happen shortly after surgery. This includes bleeding and blood clots.
  • Chronic complications happen a long period after surgery, usually 6+ months. These also include bleeding and blood clots.

Gastric sleeve is a very safe procedure when compared to other bariatric surgeries. It has the lowest complication rates and highest success rates, death is extremely rare. However, one must also do their research on surgeons and hospital clinics before having surgery, because not every surgeon and hospital can provide the things you want.

Usually, scientists and researchers look at the 10-year results of a certain surgery and judge it based on their health, complications, and effectiveness. Gastric sleeve is a relatively new surgery. With that being said Mexico Bariatric Center does have a Facebook group that posts photos every week of past patients and their results, outcomes, and life afterward.

Ramona Griffin Gastric sleeve in Tijuana Mexico 2020

Being a new surgery, these are the past data we’ve collected and currently still adding to the list:

  • Failure to Lose Weight: This is where the surgery is ineffective for the patient because they didn’t lose weight. This can be many reasons, the main ones include: this surgery may not be for them and a revisional surgery can be an option or patients didn’t follow instructions.
  • Inability to eat certain food: After this procedure, you can’t just eat anything, there is certain food you must avoid after this surgery due to your body can’t tolerate it.
  • Sleeve dilation/Meal consumption: Only over time will your stomach start to stretch again so you can eat more food. This is usually where patients go wrong where they start regaining weight due to their stomach stretching. This is why we recommend our post-op diet plan to keep patients in check.
  • Indigestion/Upset Stomach/Dyspepsia: Stomach upset can be the stomach can’t tolerate certain types of food or your body is just getting used to this new change.
  • Food/Drug/Sex Addiction: People’s food addiction or cravings tend to be an issue after bariatric surgery. They usually can’t consume their favorite foods such as sweets. This is because their body can’t tolerate it yet. This can be a struggle for them mentally that they have to face.
  • Divorce: In the United States, the average percentage of divorce is 50%. This can be quite a challenge since the bariatric patient is already undergoing things mentally and physically. Learn the shocking statistics of divorce after bariatric surgery.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): This is a type of heartburn that most post-surgery patients usually experience. This mainly happens due to upsetting your stomach with food, since your body is still adjusting.
  • Stomach issues: This is known as stenosis, where a stomach has been stretched and narrowed to the extreme making digestion harder. Again, your body needs time to adjust.
  • Abscess: An abscess is an infected area in your body due to the accumulation of bacteria. This is because your body has just been cut off and we try our best to sew it up, however, there are open wound areas or leakage that occurs.
  • Leakage: This is due to the stomach being sewn together and causing a leak somewhere in your stomach. The leakage usually happens post-surgery, since we double-check for leakage after the sewing. Please contact your doctor or surgeon immediately if you have a leakage.
  • Stomach ulcers: Stomach ulcers happen because your stomach digestive juice is reduced. Resulting in digestive acids damaging your stomach. This can easily be fixed medicine.
  • Nausea: Nausea is very common amongst patients as they would always feel the urge to vomit or have headaches.
  • Gallstones: Gallstones are rocks shaped materials that form in your bladder, this usually happens to patients whose diet has too many cholesterols.
  • Diarrhea: Post-surgery patients tend to have trouble consuming food and this leads to malnutrition.
  • Extra Nutritional Supplements: Many post-bariatric patients require many vitamins and supplements due to they eat very little. Extra supplements are easily consumable and don’t fill you up.
  • Weight Regain: Weight regain can be a possibility for patients if they don’t watch their diet. At Mexico Bariatric Center, we have a detailed diet plan made just for you.
  • Permanency: Your permanent stomach is something to be proud of or not. If you aren’t satisfied with your results, revisional surgery can be possible.
  • Less Weight Loss than Expected: Every individual’s body is different and therefore everyone may need a different surgery. Gastric sleeve surgery has the least amount of weight loss compared to other surgeries. However, there is always revisional surgery if you want a more drastic type of weight loss surgery.
  • Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, and other Health Issues: Bariatric surgery can actually help you get rid of these health problems, but for some people, it may not.
  • Sagging Excessive Skin: The sagging and excess skin is what most patients have post-surgery, this is due to they have just taken off most weight. People can choose to get rid of these skin Mexico Cosmetic Center is a plastic and cosmetic surgery center that helps patients post-weight loss.
  • Malnutrition: Malnutrition occurs for many bariatric patients due to they lack the stomach size to consume food. They would usually take extra supplements and multivitamins that are just a small pill so they won’t get full.
  • Incisional Hernia: This is when your surgical cut to take out most of your stomach parts doesn’t heal and the muscles inside tend to swell up leaving a big bump in your abdomen.
  • Abdominal Adhesions: These are stretch marks looking like marks that are left behind after surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico Safe?

Gastric sleeve is a notoriously safe procedure even though it is a relatively newer weight loss surgery. Gastric sleeve safety in Mexico is no different. The procedure is identical, and those that train under the procedure are guided by strict health guidelines.