Gastric sleeve complications, how risky is it?
Although the surgery is very safe, some potential complications include:
- Staple line leaks
- Digestion issues
- Sagging skin from rapid weight loss
Thankfully, these are very rare and usually not life threatening. The procedure has a survival rate of 99.8%, and there are several ways to reduce risk of complications.
Compare the 0.19% mortality rate of the gastric sleeve to other well-known procedures:
- Gallbladder removal: 0.15% mortality rate.
- Hip replacement: 0.29% mortality rate.
- Cesarean section (“C-Section”): 0.40% mortality rate.
In other words, gastric sleeve is about as risky as gallbladder surgery and a lot less risky than a hip replacement or a C-section.
Many potential gastric sleeve complications can be completely avoided with the right behavior, including:
- Pick a good surgeon and follow their advice to the letter.
- Educate yourself ahead of time about what to expect.
- Educate your family and friends.
- Lose as much weight as possible prior to surgery.
- Eat the right gastric sleeve diet in the months leading up to surgery.
- Get tested for sleep apnea syndrome several weeks before surgery (and address the issue if it exists before moving forward).
- Plan for at least 2 weeks of recovery time.
- Exercise right away after surgery, but take it easy at first.
Take action to reduce the risk of a blood clot, including the use of:
Pneumatic compression devices
Blood thinners after surgery
Have an effective support system of friends, family, and weight loss surgery support groups.