Gastric Sleeve Surgery Complication: Leak

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Complication:  Leak—Become Knowledgeable About It

Gastric Sleeve leak
Gastric Sleeve Surgery Complications: LEAK

One of the newest weight loss surgeries being performed is gastric sleeve surgery.  It is performed on people who are obese with a body mass index of 35 or more.  When a person has this surgery it involves removing a portion of their stomach and followed by the creation of a thin vertical sleeve of stomach about the size of a banana.  The surgeon staples the stomach using a stapling device.  This is where the leak complications can happen.


What causes a leak in this area?


There are two main reasons that a leak can occur:


  • At the staple line there can be leakages due to intra-abdominal pressure
  • Because of a gap or hole that develops somewhere along the staple closure line


Complications from a leak


When a leak happens it can cause a severe infection from the leakage of gastric contents and gastric fluids.  This infection can lead to two very serious complications.


  • Septic shock—this is when you have low blood pressure with an injury to all of your body’s systems
  • Sepsis—this when you have adverse symptoms that involve all of your body systems


Either of these can cause major organ failure, which is when many of your organ systems quit working and in time it can lead to death.


How will you know if you have a leak?


There are many different symptoms that you can have if you have this complication.  After having gastric sleeve surgery your surgeon will go over everything with you including any possible complications and the symptoms they would produce.  The symptoms for a leak may include:


  • Pain in your abdomen that does not better but only gets worse
  • You have swelling in your stomach
  • Left shoulder or chest pain
  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Dizziness
  • Any appearance of being sick
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath


You have a leak so how is it fixed?


Fixing this complication of gastric sleeve surgery involves either another surgery or putting in a drainage tube.


  • Normally surgery is the first and most common option since it hard to know if it is a leak or stomach bleeding from surgery. The surgeon will reopen the patient, close the hole, and clean up where it was leaking.  After surgery you will usually have to spend some time in Intensive Care to make sure that there are no more complications.  This second surgery will help to strengthen the staple line of the gastric sleeve.
  • Another option of fixing this complication is putting in a drainage tube to drain away the stomach acids.  During this time you will be fed either intravenously or using a catheter.  This will allow your stomach to heal so the leak will stop and also will help keep the stomach acids from reaching any other organs.


In Conclusion


This is a rare complication and occurs in one out one hundred patients.  It can be a life threatening complication if it is not taken care of so bottom line is if something does not feel right, seek immediate medical attention.


What Is Gastric Dumping Syndrome?

Weight Loss Surgery and Gastric Sleeve Dumping Syndrome


What Is Gastric Dumping Syndrome
Causes of Gastric Dumping Syndrome

Gastric Dumping Syndrome is a common bariatric surgery issue, specifically with Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass.  After having weight loss surgery the way a person eats changes dramatically.  Gone are the large meals because the stomach is reduced by approximately eighty to eighty-five percent leaving only a sleeve or tube that is the shape of a banana.  The new stomach you have after gastric sleeve surgery does function normally so you do not have as many food restrictions but you just cannot eat as much.


What is gastric dumping syndrome and why do you get it?


This is the problem that can develop, especially if there are foods eaten that are have a high content of sugar.  It is also referred to as rapid gastric emptying.  It is very common to have this after having gastric sleeve surgery.  Normally a person will experience it after eating but in some cases it will happen one to three hours later.  There are some people who have gastric dumping syndrome at both times.


When you have had gastric sleeve surgery the opening that is between your stomach and small intestine has been removed.  The opening at stomach, called the pylorus acted as a brake before surgery to help your stomach empty slowly.  Since there is no longer a “brake” the stomach contents just rushes into your small intestine. As a result your body reacts by adding a big amount of gastric juices to your small intestine.


What are the symptoms of gastric dumping syndrome?


Gastric dumping syndrome is actually a group of symptoms.  Some of these symptoms can include:


  • Gastrointestinal
    1. Nausea
    2. Vomiting
    3. Abdominal cramps
    4. Diarrhea
    5. Fullness feeling


  • Cardiovascular
    1. Flushing
    2. Feeling lightheaded and/or dizziness
    3. Rapid heart rate and/or heart palpitations


If a person has gastric dumping syndrome one to three hours after eating there are other symptoms that can happen.  These later symptoms are caused by dumping a large amount of sugar into their intestine.  The body responds by releasing a large of amount of insulin which is used to absorb this extra sugar.  This can cause hypoglycemia, which is a low level of sugar in your body.  These symptoms can include:


  • Hunger
  • Sweating
  • Feeling lightheaded and/or dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Rapid heart rate and/or heart palpitations


In conclusion


Doing a study on more than one thousand people who have had gastric sleeve surgery, all have experienced gastric dumping syndrome at some point in time.  Two-thirds had the early symptoms while the other third had the later symptoms.  There were a few who had both symptoms.  As you can see, it is a common problem after having weight loss surgery.  It is not a life threatening condition and can be easily remedied by changing their eating habits such as


  • Eat smaller meals
  • Avoid drinking anything with meals
  • Limit your intake of drinks and food with a high sugar content
  • Increase the amount of fiber in your diet
  • Stay away from foods that are acidic
  • Lie down at least ten to fifteen minutes after eating




Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery

For some women (and men) it may be one of the scariest thoughts that you go through gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgeryhair loss after bariatric surgery to lose weight and end up losing your hair!  It is common to lose hair after bariatric surgery.  Hair loss can occur in 40% of patients.

Hair loss happens everyday; it is part of a natural growth cycle.  Of course, external factors may affect the rate of hair loss, these include; genetics, stress, environment and diet.


Causes of Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery


Changes in Diet

Hair loss after bariatric surgery is normally caused by the reduction in vitamin and nutritional intake. You may have protein and iron deficiencies in your new diet because of the weight loss surgery.


Changes in Hormones

Hormones levels change post-bariatric surgery; these changes can cause the normal hair growth cycle to be altered. During your weight loss your body is trying to find a new hormonal balance and once you achieve your weight loss goal and your weight stabilizes, so will your hormones.


Trauma of Surgical procedure

If you experience the hair loss right away post-bariatric surgery, the cause may be the surgery event in itself.  The physiological stress from the surgery may cause a temporary disturbance to the body that can cause hair loss.


Preventing Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery


The best defense to bariatric surgery hair loss is a good offence.  Start with a well-planned post-surgical diet that your bariatric surgeon has given you. You will need to make sure that you get the right balance of vitamins and nutrient levels for your body and activity levels. After your bariatric surgery you may see some hair loss, but this should decline after the first six months.


Treatment for Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery


 4 Tips for Preventing Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery

  1. Take the recommended Vitamins and Minerals on a daily Basis
  2. Eat You Protein!  Protein is the building blocks of all cells in your body.  Your hair requires protein to grow strong and healthy
  3. Have your Iron Levels Checked: This is important if you are past 6 months post op and you are still losing lots of hair
  4. Extra Zinc. If you are one-year post op and are still having issues with hair loss, adding Zinc may be able to reverse hair loss issues in bariatric surgery patients.

It is also important to understand that Stress related hair loss can only be cured by reducing your stress.

By following these tips for hair loss after bariatric surgery you will end up with beautiful shiny strong hair and a rocking body to boot!