Of the various bariatric surgeries available for losing weight, Gastric Sleeve Surgery California is considered to be one of the most effective weight loss surgery. Through this surgery, almost 80%, which is about three-fourth, of the stomach is removed.  This allows the stomach to capacitate much less food than a normal stomach can hold. This procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed using the laparoscopic.

Like any other surgery, even this procedure has its pros and cons. There are instances where some patients have experienced complications and other issues post-surgery. Also, since the procedure is relatively new, there is the likelihood that a number of complications might arise over time. However, before we get into the negative side of the procedure, let’s get to know the merits of having gastric sleeve surgery.

Merits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

There are patients whose health conditions might not permit surgery due to the risk of higher complications. This procedure is best suited for such patients. As compared to the gastric banding procedures for weight loss, the risks for potential complications are greatly reduced as there is no foreign device left behind within the body that might cause infection or slip. Besides, the rate of weight loss is faster and higher with gastric sleeve surgery. Almost 50% of the weight loss will take place within the first six to twelve months post-surgery. The patient may continue to lose weight for the next two years. Also, this procedure may serve as a pathway for those patients who are extremely obese and are at higher risk to go for gastric bypass surgery.  Following are the additional advantages of this procedure:

  • Despite the reduced size, the stomach will still continue to function normally. Your tolerance for almost all the food will increase although in small portions.
  •  If you feel there is a need or if you wish to then this procedure can be converted into gastric bypass surgery later on.
  • Your appetite will reduce as the top portion of the stomach which is responsible for releasing the hunger-stimulating hormone is removed.
  • Chances of suffering from ulcers are greatly reduced as the secretion of acid is lessened.
  • The probabilities of suffering from anemia, protein and vitamin deficiency, intestinal obstructions, osteoporosis, etc are reduced as the intestine is left intact.
  • Since no foreign objects are used in the procedure, the risks of slippage, erosion, obstruction or infection are zero.

Demerits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Post this procedure your intake of food will be reduced to three-fourths of the amount you normally eat. This means the calories you consume are also being reduced, resulting in maximum weight loss. However, there is still the possibility that you might continue to eat too much which will affect your weight loss. Therefore it is essential to follow the post-surgery plan that your healthcare provider advises so as to prevent any complications. The complications post gastric sleeve surgery may include long-term as well as short-term complications. Certain problems that might affect your mental and physical health might also arise. Following are the disadvantages of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

  • This is a permanent procedure and cannot be reversed at any cost.
  • The topmost part of the stomach is cut and removed and stapled. There are chances that the staples might leak and cause infection. This can further cause various other problems.
  • There are also chances of weight gain. The stomach has the potential to stretch and without the right diet choices, it might result in stretching the stomach to its normal size.
  • Without intestinal bypass, it might be difficult for some individuals to lose weight.
  • Intake of less food does not mean that it has reduced the tendency of the body to tolerate high fat and carb-rich foods. Thus, there are possibilities that the rate of weight loss may be slow.
  • Chances of food intolerance might increase especially when it comes to the digestion of certain foods such as bread, rice, pasta, and red meat.
  • The procedure is relatively new and falls under the investigational procedure category. Hence, it may not be covered by insurance companies.

Despite the risks, it can still be helpful in alleviating the health of those people who are extremely obese but it may or may not help with other chronic health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Also, as compared to other surgeries, bariatric surgery for weight loss is safe and the mortality rate is comparatively low.

Other Acute Risks Factors

Besides the listed above, there might be other acute risks involved which are as follows:

  • Blood Clotting
  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Anastomotic leaks

Gastrointestinal (GI) complications that might cause your weight or nutritional status such as failure to lose weight might occur if you consume larger portions of meals. So it is imperative to follow the post-surgery instructions strictly. If you continue to stick to your old habits then the odds of regaining the lost weight are quite high. In addition, a low intake of food means a low intake of calories and fewer nutrients. This could spell trouble for some especially if they are suffering from nausea and diarrhea-causing malnutrition. It is important to consult such conditions with the physician. They might advise additional medications, and supplements to help you maintain a healthy life.


Long-Term Health Complications

The complications involved with this procedure may range from mild to severe long-term complications. There are chances that the symptoms might last for six months post-surgery or might start appearing after six months post-surgery. Therefore, it is essential to discuss thoroughly the health-related issues that might surface post-surgery.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (Acid Reflux)

It is common to experience symptoms related to the various gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and heartburn post the procedure. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Stomach Upset
  • Bloating
  • Feeling full

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications that might help in alleviating the GERD symptoms.

Stomach Ulcers known as Peptic ulcers are likely to occur post-surgery. The symptoms that you might notice are:

  • Blood spots in vomit
  • Discomfort in the stomach
  • Dark, tarry stools

Scarring often makes the tissues which are normally slippery in nature become sticky. This might cause annoyance and sometimes even cause pain as you will have the pulling sensation post-surgery. There are possibilities that this scarring may lead to the blockage of your small bowel.

If an abscess is formed in the body that it means that some of the contents of the intestine is leaking. However, this complication rarely occurs in this type of surgery.

It is important to understand that different people respond differently to the surgery. Some might lose more weight while some might regain the weight they had lost. At times, some might lose less weight than expected while others might suffer from digestion issues. The occurrence of different medical health issues is likely. For some, the symptoms might occur immediately while others might take years for the symptoms to manifest.

The complications involved may vary from mild to severe. There are also chances, that this type of surgery might cause mental health and social issues that might affect your relationships. In short, every bariatric surgery has its merits and demerits. Therefore, it is essential to discuss all the weight loss options and their complications thoroughly with your healthcare provider and ascertain the procedure which would be best for you.

By Alexander James

Beau Alexander James: Beau, a mental health advocate, shares personal stories, coping strategies, and promotes mental health awareness and understanding.