What Are The Side Effects of Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Side Affects

Gastric Sleeve surgery is a procedure that aims to reduce the size of the stomach. It takes your stomach which is about the size of a football to reduce it down to the size of a small banana. It doesn’t involve restructuring the small intestine, so it’s a less complicated surgery than other gastric options you may consider.

Most of the time it’s even done on an outpatient basis, so you’ll be home the very same day to recover in the comfort of your own home. You’ll be back to your normal activities within a week usually for most people who have the surgery. Keep in mind though there are some side effects to consider with any surgical option.

Here are some of the most common ones with Gastric Sleeve surgery. Most of them only happen though in less than five percent of all patients who undergo the surgery, so while rare, they are something to monitor.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

It’s estimated that 60 percent of the population experience some form of gastric reflux. That’s probably why you see so many antacid commercials on television. For those that have the gastric sleeve surgery, it’s even more common.

This is due to the fact that when a person with the sleeve overeats, it can cause a backup of acid up through the esophagus. Make sure you are following your best eating plan, and drinking enough fluid (water) to combat this problem.

Staple Line Leaks

This is a very uncommon occurrence that only happens in about two to five percent of patients. It happens in the upper part of the stomach, and is usually discovered shortly after the surgery, within three days. So talk to your doctor immediately if you are experiencing symptoms of a fever, elevated heart rate, or you are having difficulty breathing.

Internal Hemorrhage

Bleeding after surgery is highly unlikely, but it usually happens along the staple line of the stomach. You’ll be able to tell if this occurs by seeing if there is any blood in your stool. Contact your doctor right away if this happens to make sure that there aren’t any further complications from the bariatric surgery.

Blood Clots

After you have surgery, you are more likely to have a blood clot or thrombosis. This can occur due to lack of mobility after surgery. Blood flow that is restricted is more likely to clot. If you have severe redness, pain, or inflammation in parts of your arms or legs talk to your doctor immediately.

Keep in mind the risk is about one percent to develop a clot after surgery. It’s important to be aware of it because a serious clot can cause a stroke, heart attack, and is even fatal sometimes if it’s not treated right away.


This is where the opening of the stomach becomes swollen and inflamed, blocking the passage of food into your intestines. This is part of Incisura Angularis after the surgery. You’ll have symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and an aversion to all food.

Call your doctor immediately if this happens to you and you have concerns. Sometimes rest is all that is needed to heal the problem, and other times your doctor might need to perform an endoscopic dilation to improve the pathways between your stomach and intestines.

Even though these complications are very rare it’s important to monitor yourself after your gastric sleeve surgery to make sure everything is working properly so that you can lose the excess weight.




Cleveland Clinic

Columbia Surgery