Is gastric sleeve surgery safe?

Last Updated : March 6, 2023

Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is a weight loss procedure that has gained popularity in recent years as a way to achieve significant and sustained weight loss. The procedure involves removing a portion of the stomach to create a narrow, sleeve-shaped stomach, reducing the amount of food that can be consumed at one time and leading to a feeling of fullness faster. While gastric sleeve surgery is generally considered safe, as with any surgical procedure, it does carry some risks and potential complications.

One of the main benefits of gastric sleeve surgery is that it is minimally invasive, meaning that the procedure is performed through small incisions using a laparoscopic technique, rather than a more extensive open surgery. This results in less pain and scarring, a shorter recovery time, and a reduced risk of complications compared to more invasive weight loss surgeries such as gastric bypass.

Gastric sleeve surgery is considered to be a very safe procedure. However, it requires a significant lifestyle change so it should not be taken lightly. The risks associated with gastric sleeve surgery are low and include bleeding, infection, and blood clots, which can occur with any surgery. There is also a small risk of leaks or perforations in the stomach, which can lead to serious complications and may require additional surgery to repair. Additionally, gastric sleeve surgery can cause long-term nutrient deficiencies, such as anaemia, if patients do not follow a balanced and nutrient-dense diet after the procedure.

Another potential risk of gastric sleeve surgery is weight regain. While gastric sleeve surgery can lead to significant weight loss in the short-term, maintaining that weight loss long-term requires a commitment to lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and regular physical activity. If patients do not make these changes, they may regain some or all of the weight they lost, which can be disheartening and may lead to further health complications.

It’s also important to note that gastric sleeve surgery is not suitable for everyone. Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery, such as a gastric bypass or a prior gastric sleeve procedure, may not be candidates for a gastric sleeve due to the risk of complications. Additionally, some medical conditions, such as liver disease, may make gastric sleeve surgery too risky.

Ultimately, the safety of gastric sleeve surgery will depend on several factors, including the experience and qualifications of the surgeon, the patient’s overall health, and their ability to make the necessary lifestyle changes after the procedure. Patients considering gastric sleeve surgery should thoroughly research the procedure, talk to their doctor, and weigh the potential risks and benefits before making a decision.

In conclusion, gastric sleeve surgery is generally considered safe, but like any surgical procedure, it does carry some risks and potential complications. Patients considering gastric sleeve surgery should carefully consider the procedure, talk to their doctor, and make an informed decision based on their individual needs and circumstances. With the right support, lifestyle changes, and commitment to a healthy diet, gastric sleeve surgery can be an effective tool for achieving significant and sustained weight loss.

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