If you are dealing with weight-related health challenges and are considering weight loss surgery, you are not alone. Every year in the United States alone, over 150,000 people have vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery (VSG), which is the most commonly performed bariatric surgery.
While it is the least invasive of the surgical weight loss options, vertical sleeve gastrectomy still has side effects and complications that can occur. Before you choose to have surgery to help you lose weight, you should carefully consider these risk factors.
Today we are going to talk about the risks and side effects of vertical sleeve gastrectomy, both during the operation and into the future. In addition to talking about the side effects of VSG surgery, we will present an alternative option that offers similar benefits without these surgical risks.
What Does VSG Involve?
During VSG surgery, small incisions are made in various parts of the belly so the surgeon can access the patient’s stomach with a laparoscope and special surgical tools. A significant portion of the stomach is cut away and permanently taken out, with the remainder being reshaped into a petite little pouch that is roughly one-quarter of its original size. The surgeon uses special staples to close and seal the edges after the excess tissue is removed.
What Are The Side Effects Of VSG Surgery?
There are different types of side effects after VSG that a patient can experience. Those that are related to or occur during the surgical procedure and those that relate to the changes that have been made to the digestive system.
Typical Side Effects Of Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy And Surgery In General
- Anesthesia Issues: Problems resulting from sedation such as aspiration during the procedure (patient vomits and debris migrates to the lungs), the patient not being fully ‘under” during the procedure, or adverse effects to the medication that causes an allergic or unpleasant reaction such as nausea and vomiting that can last from a few hours to a few days;
- Nerve damage: This can be caused by awkward, prolonged positioning during the operation;
- Blood loss: This would most likely happen during surgery or sometime during the first day, but signs of blood loss can manifest even several days later. Blood loss as a side effect of vertical sleeve gastrectomy is normally a result of a problem along the staple line;
- Stomach Leak: If the line of staples is not properly secured, then food from the stomach can leak into the abdomen and cause a nasty infection. Sepsis caused by a leak is a dangerous complication and requires immediate medical intervention;
- Clots: Most people are familiar with this side effect because it is the reason medical professionals will make you get up and walk around as soon as you can after having surgery. It is a rare complication but can cause death if the clot travels to your lungs;
- Abdominal abscess: This can occur if an infection is introduced into the abdomen and becomes gradually worse;
- Wound infections: Another potential VSG surgery side effect can occur if the incisions made in the abdomen become infected.
What Are Some VSG Surgery Side Effects That Can Occur Over The Long Term?
- Many patients experience chronic acid reflux after VSG surgery, and a large majority need medication to tolerate it. Some patients choose to convert their procedure through gastric bypass surgery to alleviate GERD.
- Constipation & gas
- Other side effects of vertical sleeve gastrectomy that many patients are not prepared for are ongoing constipation and pain from trapped gas. The trapped gas normally dissipates within a few days but can be very painful, and constipation can last for up to six months after the surgery.
- This side effect of VSG surgery can happen if there are very narrow spots in their stomach pouch and it becomes blocked by scar tissue. Food will not be able to pass through the area, and the blockage needs to be opened up.
- Axial rotation
- While a lesser-known side effect of VSG surgery, this problem occurs when the thin stomach pouch becomes twisted and creates a complete blockage. It normally causes chronic vomiting and terrible pain in the abdominal area. Unfortunately, this complication can happen because of the technique used to perform the surgery and the inexperience of the surgeon.
How Can You Get Weight Loss Help But Avoid VSG Surgery Side Effects?
The Main Differences Between the Surgical & Endoscopic Sleeve
Read the experiences of people who claim that "gastric sleeve ruined my life". Learn about a non-surgical alternative Suture Sculpt.
If you are thinking about VSG surgery, you will want to talk to the experts at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center. You may be amazed to hear that you can accomplish your weight loss goals and get the same (or better) results as you would with VSG but without having surgery.
Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Centers offers a non-surgical procedure called Suture Sculpt ESG (endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty) that reduces the stomach capacity. This establishes a system of portion control and promotes longer-term satiety similar to VSG surgery. The biggest difference is that there is no cutting, and no part of the stomach is discarded.
There is no need to worry about the side effects of VSG surgery because Suture Sculpt ESG is done using an endoscope that is lowered down the patient’s esophagus. The stomach is stitched up from the inside using a special tool to be made significantly smaller. Because there are no cuts or other surgical issues to worry about, patients have no activities they are restricted from after their procedure. They can shower, bathe, swim, or play 18 holes of gold if they are up for it.
Take a look at some of our real patients and their weight loss accomplishments. Why risk the side effects of vertical sleeve gastrectomy when you can get amazing results without surgery? Make an appointment today to find out how Suture Sculpt can help you achieve sustainable weight loss.