Is gastric sleeve surgery safe?

Obesity is a health issue that many suffer from today. With obesity and excessive weight issues comes a myriad of other health problems, like diabetes hypertension, high cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disease, and many other health issues. This makes maintaining a healthy weight a must to preserve overall health. Many go down the bariatric surgery road to lose weight, the most popular of these surgeries is the gastric sleeve. What is the gastric sleeve? What are its benefits, and is it safe for everyone? Find out more in this article.

Published on:Apr 7th 2023 |Updated on:Apr 10th 2024
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What is gastric sleeve surgery?

It is a bariatric surgery, where the surgeon removes 80% of the stomach, leaving a small part that looks like a sleeve, hence the name. This smaller stomach will produce fewer hunger hormones and will feel fuller faster and with smaller amounts of food.

This surgery is performed laparoscopically under general anesthesia. The surgery takes between 60 to 90 minutes, and recovery takes about a month of rest and a special diet prescribed by the surgeon.

Who can have this surgery?

  • People with grade 3 obesity

People with grade 3 obesity are people with a BMI of 40 or higher or those who have a BMI of 35 or higher along with a chronic illness. 

  • Those who tried to lose weight and failed

Candidates for this surgery are usually required to follow a medically supervised weight loss program for 3 to 6 months before qualifying for a gastric sleeve. The surgery is generally done only if those attempts fail.

  • People who are physically and mentally fit

Before deciding if a person is fit for this surgery, they must be evaluated by doctors, nutritionists, and mental health experts, to decide if they can undergo this serious surgery.

Is gastric sleeve surgery safe?

Compared to other bariatric surgeries this surgery is safe for those who qualify. However, like any surgery, there are risks and side effects such as:

  • Risk of bleeding during surgery.
  • Possibility of infections.
  • A reaction to anesthesia.
  • A leak from the staple site.
  • Nutrients, vitamins, and minerals deficiency.
  • Difficulty when eating, feeling nauseous, and vomiting.
  • Gastric reflux.
  • Many people who undergo a gastric sleeve end up undergoing gall bladder removal surgery as well.

Does the surgery work?

Most people who undergo this surgery, which became very common these days, lose between 20% to 30% of their weight in the first two years. But in some cases, the weight loss is much less, especially when people don’t follow a healthy diet or exercise regularly.

A last word!

Despite this surgery being labeled as safe by experts, like all other bariatric surgeries, it is always preferred to follow the traditional means to lose weight like following a healthy diet and exercising which are beneficial not only for weight loss but also for overall physical and mental health.


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