Tag: vsg complications

Gastric Sleeve Risks

Posted by: Talan Miller on March 23rd, 2013 no responses.

Sleeve gastrectomy, just like any surgical procedure, has numerous risks associated with it. While it has surely helped many people suffering from obesity to lose substantial weight and get into a healthier state, gastric sleeve risks should still be considered before committing to the surgery.


Without having enough information about the procedure, the hidden cost of gastric sleeve surgery can be too high – the lack of accurate information can pose serious damage to your health and safety. Thankfully, in today’s world where information is readily accessible at your fingertips, collecting data and information has become a walk in the park.


Gastric Sleeve Risk Factors

Gastric sleeve risk factors include:

  • Age – People over 45 are more at risk.  Gastric Sleeve Risks
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) – Usually, patients with a BMI of 50 or more are advised to lose weight with diet and exercise before they are approved for surgery.
  • Hypertension – A high blood pressure puts any patient at risk during and even after any surgery, so this should be controlled to prevent any dangerous incidents on the operating table.
  • Other cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases – Other risks include a history of thrombosis or embolism, where blood clots prevent proper blood circulation to occur.


In most recent years, gastric sleeve surgery risks have been lowered by the introduction of laparoscopic surgery. This means that instead of cutting the abdomen open during the procedure, only small incisions are made around the area and the surgery is performed by inserting surgical tools and a high-powered fiber optic camera. For people who cannot afford the expensive price of this procedure in the US or Canada, lap gastric sleeve in Mexico or Costa Rica is available for very low costs.


A clinical research study conducted by Bellanger and Greenway of the Virginia Commonwealth University collected data from 490 patients out of a total 529 patients six weeks after the surgery to compute gastric sleeve risk of death and complications. The total complication rate was at 3.2%, including a few cases of vomiting and dehydration, mesenteric venous thrombosis, deep venous thrombosis, reflux, bleeding, cholecystitis, and pulmonary embolism. Only the case with pulmonary embolism resulted in death, making the mortality rate 0.19%.


Other sleeve gastrectomy complications that may occur after the surgery include infection, leakage, and development of gallstones. Infection and leakage can be avoided by ensuring that you are working with expert surgeons and by choosing a hospital with excellent reputation, especially with medical tourists. For any surgery, the disinfection practices of hospitals are almost as important as the credentials of the surgeon performing the procedure.


Lap Band VS Gastric Sleeve Surgery Complications

If you are considering gastric sleeve surgery, there is a big chance you might also have considered gastric banding. Risk-wise, below are some points to consider when weighing sleeve gastrectomy vs. lap band.

  • Because of some swelling and discomfort, gastric sleeve patients are usually required a longer recovery time than lap band patients.
  • People who undergo sleeve surgery are more at risk of blood clots and gall stones than those who go for lap band.
  • In the event that a revision surgery is required, sleeve gastrectomy patients usually require a major surgery, in contrast to lap band patients who may only require a minor, less complex one.


It is important to note that the risk for postoperative gastric sleeve surgery complications is higher since it is an irreversible procedure. The lap band, on the other hand, is a medical apparatus installed around the opening part of the stomach, and should it pose a problem to the patient, it can be easily removed so that the stomach can return to its normal pre-surgery state.


Avoiding Gastric Sleeve Complications

Here are some tips you can follow in order to avoid vertical gastric sleeve complications:

  • Research about the surgeon and hospital’s credentials and reputation when it comes to bariatric surgery.
  • Provide the surgeon with as much information as you can about your medical history.
  • Before the surgery, have an in-depth discussion with the surgeon about your risks and the preventive measures to be taken in order to avoid them.
  • After the surgery, follow the doctor’s orders, including follow-up visits, recovery, and post-op gastric sleeve diet.


Any surgery comes with its concomitant risks and complications, and sleeve gastrectomy is not an exception. However, arming yourself with as much information as you can, having open communication, and choosing to work with qualified health professionals can dramatically lower gastric sleeve risks in your weight loss journey.


To know more about the risks and safety measures for gastric sleeve surgery, fill-out the estimate request form on the right.


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