Risks and Recovery for Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Risks and Recovery for Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Gastric sleeve surgery is one of the most popular options for weight loss surgery. It’s a low risk procedure with a high success rate. However, it’s not all roses: there are risks involved, and recovery is extensive. So, what’s it really like?

What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

The gastric sleeve, also called a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a common surgical weight-loss procedure. It’s a laparoscopic procedure done using small incisions in the belly area.
It removes about 80 percent of the stomach, resulting in a stomach that is the shape of a tube.

How Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery?

The surgery is an invasive inpatient procedure that takes a few days to recover from in the hospital.
After the patient comes home, they’re instructed to rest and eat a very restrictive diet, which changes over the course of a few months.
Your doctor will let you know when you’ll be able to return to work, however the typical patient is back at work within a few weeks.

What Are The Risks of Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Overall, sleeve gastrectomy is a safe procedure that has been done thousands of times in roughly the same fashion for similar, obese patients. However, it is an intrusive inpatient procedure and with that, it carries some risks.

Staple Line Leak

The staple line used to divide the stomach could leak after surgery, causing potential infection and injury to other organs. It could cause an abscess, which would need to be surgically removed.
This complication is extremely rare, but surgeons are prepared to deal with it. If a leak is found, it can sometimes be drained without the need for additional surgery.

Internal Bleeding

Because of the nature of the procedure, internal bleeding is a risk. However, surgeons have methods to correct and combat this risk and is not a very common outcome of the gastric sleeve.


All surgeries carry some risk of infection, and the gastric sleeve is no different. However, infections from this procedure are very rare and are typically treated with antibiotics.

In Summary

● Gastric Sleeve Surgery does carry some risks, including the risk of infection, internal bleeding, and a staple line link which can be quite serious. ●  The typical gastric bypass patient can expect to go back to work within a few weeks post surgery, however actual recovery back to full activities will take several months.

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