How to Recognize Gastric Sleeve Complications

Posted by Patrick Domkowski on Thu, Sep 18, 2014

Laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery is a highly effective weight loss option that involves removing the outer 85 percent of the stomach. This converts the stomach into a narrow sleeve or tube that holds much less food and allows you to feel fuller from smaller portions. Compared to other bariatric surgeries, the weight loss with the gastric sleeve surgery is incredibly rapid. For many people, this surgery has been life-changing and transformative. As with any surgery, there are risks and complications that you as the patient should know about, research and consider before deciding to go through with it.gastric sleeve complications

Recognizing the signs of problems in your body related to the surgery can be difficult. Sometimes you may think that you’re experiencing normal feelings and your body is just adjusting to the changes. Other times you may think that things will go away on their own or heal themselves in time. Familiarize yourself with some common gastric sleeve complications so that if they do happen to you, you’ll know exactly what to do or what to talk about with your doctor.


The possibility of complications with many weight loss surgeries is much greater in people with severe obesity or other pre-existing health conditions. Make sure you tell your doctor about any and all existing conditions or medical problems because they may decide that gastric sleeve surgery isn’t right for you. Here are some complications and how you can recognize them:

Internal bleeding


  • abdominal pain/swelling
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • large area of deep purple skin

Wound infection


  • wound drains yellow/green pus
  • skin around wound becomes red, warm, swollen or painful
Blood clots


  • swelling
  • redness
  • numbness
  • pain



  • cough (sometimes with yellow/green mucus)
  • fever
  • shaking chills
  • shortness of breath
Leakage along stomach edge


  • rapid heart rate
  • fever
  • abdominal pain
  • low blood pressure
  • decreased urine output

Common treatments for gastric sleeve complications can be as simple as antibiotics, or they can lead to another surgery. Either way, consulting your doctor or surgeon is the only way you can be diagnosed and subsequently treated. 

Discuss the risks and complications with your bariatric surgeon and get all of your questions answered. Many patients push post-op instructions to the side and ignore their workout/dietary regimens. This is a leading cause in most complications that patients have, especially when they don’t see progress. We can’t stress enough how crucial it is to follow postoperative guidelines, as to not increase your chances of appropriating health issues. The surgery is a tool to help you adopt a new, healthy lifestyle. It will not do all of the work for you; you must be the change you wish to see in your body. Now that you know what to look for, contact Riverside today if you’re noticing any signs of a possible complication related to your weight loss surgery. 


Tags: What is Lap-Sleeve Surgery

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