Weight Loss Surgery Risks and Complications
Sleeve gastrectomy surgery risks and complications
As with any surgical procedure, potential risks and complications can occur with sleeve gastrectomy. We're committed to providing you with the information you need to make a well-informed decision about your surgery. Although these problems rarely occur, we want you to know the facts.
If you're considering sleeve gastrectomy surgery, we encourage you to attend a weight loss surgery information seminar hosted by a REALIZE trained surgeon at a bariatric clinic that offers sleeve gastrectomy. You'll learn about the risks and benefits of surgical weight loss options, you'll meet bariatric team members who will support you before and long after your surgery, and you may also hear from patients who have had weight loss surgery. There's no pressure to make a commitment—and no better way to get the answers you're looking for. Of course, family and friends are welcome, too.
Use our seminar finder to locate a seminar in your area, and register to ensure that you have a seat, because seminars often fill up.
Want to talk it over? We're ready to help. Call us at 1-855-2-REALIZE if you have questions or concerns or want help finding a seminar near you.
Potential bariatric surgery complications following the procedure28
One or all of the following conditions and bariatric surgery complications are possible following all types of weight loss surgery procedures, as well as all types of bariatric procedures.
Potentially serious complications
- Perforation of stomach/intestine or leakage, causing peritonitis or abscess
- Internal bleeding requiring transfusion
- Severe wound infection, opening of the wound, incisional hernia
- Spleen injury requiring removal/other organ injury
- Gastric outlet or bowel obstruction
- Pneumonia, atelectasis (collapse of lung tissue), fluid in chest
- Respiratory insufficiency, pulmonary edema (fluid in lungs)
- Blood clots in legs/lungs (embolism)
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack), congestive heart failure
- Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
- Stroke (cerebrovascular accident)
- Kidney and liver:
- Acute kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Hepatitis (may progress to cirrhosis)
- Anorexia nervosa, bulimia
- Postoperative depression, dysfunctional social problems
Other complications (may become serious):
- Minor wound or skin infection/scarring, deformity, loose skin
- Urinary tract infection
- Allergic reactions to drugs or medications
- Vomiting or nausea/inability to eat certain foods/improper eating
- Inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis), acid reflux (heartburn)
- Low sodium, potassium, or blood sugar; low blood pressure
- Problems with the outlet of the stomach (narrowing or stretching)
- Anemia, metabolic deficiency (iron, vitamins, minerals), temporary hair loss
- Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramping, malodorous stool or gas
- Development of gallstones or gallbladder disease
- Stomach or outlet ulcers (peptic ulcer)
- Staple-line disruption, weight gain, failure to lose satisfactory weight
- Intolerance to refined sugars (dumping), with nausea, sweating, weakness
Sleeve gastrectomy surgery should not be considered until you and your doctor have evaluated all other options
The proper approach to sleeve gastrectomy surgery requires careful consideration and discussion of the following with your doctor:
- Weight loss surgery is not cosmetic surgery. The procedures do not involve the removal of fatty tissue by cutting or suction.
- A decision to elect surgical treatment requires an assessment of the benefits and risks to the patient and the meticulous performance of the appropriate surgical procedure.
- The success of weight loss surgery is dependent on long-term lifestyle changes in diet and exercise.