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The Warnings Signs of a Gastric Sleeve Leak: What Patients Should Know

By Fernando Garcia on April 25, 2015

Surgeons in the operating roomWhen it comes to effective weight loss surgery, the team at Tijuana Bariatrics believes that gastric sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy) is ideal for most patients. Dr. Fernando Garcia and Dr. David Vazquez have achieved excellent results through this low-maintenance procedure.

There are risks with any surgery, of course, and one of the most serious risks of any bariatric procedure is gastrointestinal leakage from the revised stomach and/or digestive tract. Let's explore this matter in more detail right now.

What is a gastric sleeve leak?

A gastric sleeve leak refers to a hole or seam in the smaller stomach pouch that results in digestive fluid escaping the stomach and entering the rest of the patient's body cavity.

Why should a leak following a gastric sleeve be taken seriously?

When digestive fluids exit the stomach, it can result in severe pain as well as damage to adjacent internal organs and other tissues of the body. If not treated soon enough, the condition can be fatal.

How common is gastrointestinal leakage after gastric sleeve surgery?

Thankfully a leak following gastric sleeve is rare, only occurring in 1 out of 100 patients. Even with those numbers, it's important to remain cautious and attentive when it comes to any and all patient wellness issues.

Key Warning Signs to Look Out for

Some of the most common warning signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal leakage include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • A sense of ill-ease or illness

Be sure to speak with your bariatric surgeon as soon as possible if you should notice any of the above symptoms after your bariatric surgery has been performed.

How Gastric Sleeve Leaks Are Treated

In order to treat gastric sleeve leaks or any sort of gastrointestinal leak, an emergency surgery must be performed on the abdominal region. This will help seal the leakage/seam and will also allow surgeons to address any internal damage that a patient may have experienced or sustained.

How We Help Prevent Gastric Sleeve Leaks from Occurring

Dr. Garcia and Dr. Vazquez both take all possible precautions with regard to leaks or other kinds of surgical complications following a gastric sleeve. As we have noted in the past, our team carefully checks every gastric sleeve patient in those crucial first few days after their surgery has been performed.

Patients are closely monitored for the first nights after surgery in a full-service hospital. The revised stomach pouch is thoroughly checked three times to ensure no leakage or potentially problematic seams whatsoever. During their first days of recovery, patients will also be provided with a hotel room and private driver so that they can focus on resting and wellness, not having to worry about any logistical issues.

Speak with the Doctors of Tijuana Bariatrics

For more information about gastric sleeve surgery and how our team can help you experience safe and rapid weight loss, be sure to contact our bariatric surgery specialists. Dr. Garcia and Dr. Vazquez look forward to your visit and helping you achieve a healthier and more ideal body mass.

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MessageOur Staff

Dr. Garcia is awesome. I chose bariatrics vertical sleeve surgery. I've lost 85 lbs. since January 2017. No complications... I regret not doing this years ago. Debbie M.

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