The early complications of a sleeve gastrectomy are similar to those of a gastric bypass, ie bleeding or leakage from the staple lines created by the surgery. Fortunately both are extremely uncommon in patients treated by Phoenix Health.
Bleeding tends to occur very early on (first 24 hours). Phoenix surgeons have developed a novel protocol administering simple medications for 24 hours post-op that has hugely reduced the risk of post-op bleeding.
Leaks can occur at any time during the first week (and rarely even a little later). If they are treated promptly, most patients bounce back quickly. However, if a leak is missed and presents late on, patients can become extremely ill and even die from the resulting sepsis. Phoenix Health surgeons use a combination of intra-operative leak tests, very careful clinical observations and serial blood tests on day 1 and day 2 to minimise the risk that we might discharge a patient with a mild, sub-clinical leak. We do not believe in the policy of rushing you out of hospital and discharging sleeve and bypass patients after 24 hours that some bariatric units adopt. We would rather spend a bit more time and money so that we can be as sure as possible that you have no evidence of a grumbling serious complication that might put you at risk after discharge.
Longer term, the sleeve has relatively few potential problems. Some patients get acid reflux that requires treatment with antacid drugs. Rarely, you can develop a narrowing in the sleeve that requires further intervention. Finally, if patients push up their portion size after the sleeve, this can sometimes lead to weight regain as the stomach stretches. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are unusual.
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The clinical information expressed in these video clips is for general information only, and not intended to be a substitute for a detailed discussion with your bariatric surgeon. For further information please contact one of our team on 03452 515 515 to discuss your individual case.