Also referred to as sleeve gastrectomy, vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a kind of bariatric surgery performed as a substitute to laparoscopic stomach banding. This surgery restricts the quantity of food you are able to consume by getting rid of about 85% of your stomach. It is considered a safe procedure for individuals who not too obese.
One of the advantages of going through this procedure is the fact that the risk of ulcers and intestinal blockages is minimized once the stomach’s capacity is reduced. Even for individuals will an unusually higher appetite, the reduced stomach size ensures they can only eat so much at a time.
Just like with any other medical procedure, sleeve gastrectomy comes with its own share of side effects. These include:
- Pain and discomfort are common after surgery. Patients are put on pain medications to help manage the pain from surgery.
- Bruising on the abdomen on the areas where the surgical instruments pass through can be painful and uncomfortable. Dressing and pain medication helps as one awaits healing to take place.
- Some people also swell in the abdomen but the swelling goes away in a couple of days.
These are the mild and common side effects. However, there are also severe side effects that can occur from the surgery.
- Internal bleeding/ hemorrhaging
- Leaking in the stomach
- Inflammation of one’s stomach lining or gastritis
- Bloating and pain in the abdominal area.
- Infection or Abscess
- Blood clots which can be fatal if not treated immediately
All severe side effects should be treated as soon as possible as some such as blood clogs are fatal.
This is perhaps one of the most common and most frustrating side effects that occur following sleeve gastrectomy surgery. This symptom is common within the first six months following the surgery. The reason why this procedure results in gastroesophageal reflux is that after surgery, there is a drastic change in your stomach’s capacity from approximately 1500 cubic centimeters to about 90 cubic centimeters. This makes it difficult for acid your stomach is producing to stay inside the stomach without rising up into your esophagus and causing reflux.
The best way to prevent the reflux is by ensuring that you strictly adhere to the post-op diet given to you by your surgeon and/or dietician. Taking note of the foods that make it worse is also important because your dietician can suggest alternatives that are less likely to cause the reflux issue.
Although taste alterations is not a common side effect, it does occur in some individuals. The alterations in taste are however mild and don’t indicate that you will not enjoy eating all food. There is no scientific explanation as to why this happens in some individuals following the procedure. Ideally, those who experience this side effect find that the smell and taste of certain food changes after surgery.
The side effect might work in your favor in the case where certain healthy foods that you previously deemed of poor taste might become more tasteful. Some individuals also complain that certain foods become too sweet or salty and this might be a good thing in helping you manage your salt and sugar intake.