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How to Detect Common Gastric Sleeve Leak Symptoms


Gastric sleeve surgery can help induce weight loss and resolve obesity-related conditions. While it is a generally safe procedure, minor complications can occur. The gastric sleeve can leak and cause an infection in the abdominal cavity. The most practical response is to seek prompt treatment. Understanding bariatric sleeve leak symptoms can help you know when and how to respond to avoid further health problems.

Types of Gastric Sleeve Leaks

Gastric sleeve leak symptoms often manifest a few days or weeks after surgery. They can be anastomotic or staple line.

During gastrectomy, the surgeon will incise a portion of the stomach. They will then reconnect the remaining part to the small intestine with a tube called anastomosis. The procedure uses staples to fasten both ends of the anastomosis.

Anastomotic leaks occur in the anastomosis, the artificial connection between the stomach and the small intestine. In contrast, staple line leaks appear at the gastroesophageal junction along the staples.

Common Gastric Sleeve Leak Symptoms

Leak symptoms after gastric sleeve surgery vary and manifest in different ways. The most common symptom is persistent abdominal pain. Others include:

  • Night sweats
  • Rapid pulse rate
  • Fever
  • Chest or shoulder pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Malaise
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Causes of Gastric Sleeve Leaks

Bariatric sleeve leak symptoms might occur for several reasons. While surgical technicalities can lead to leakages, most leaks are patient-related. For instance, people with diabetes, liver cirrhosis, and renal issues are prone to gastric sleeve leaks.

Poor nutrition can also increase the likelihood of gastric sleeve leak symptoms. This is why bariatric patients must limit how many carbs they consume during recovery. They should also avoid solid foods, alcohol, smoking, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during the first weeks of healing. The drugs can cause ulcers and rupture of the gastric pouch, leading to leakage.

Treating Gastric Sleeve Symptoms of a Leak

Leaks after gastric sleeve symptoms require prompt surgical treatment to repair the affected part. The surgeon will administer antibiotics before and after treatment to prevent possible infection.

That said, some patients might not require surgery immediately. In this case, our bariatric surgeon will insert prophylactic or percutaneous tools to drain the leaking gastrointestinal fluid.

Take Control of Your Weight Loss Journey

Gastric surgery is a reliable weight loss option. However, it requires patients to follow strict guidelines to attain desired outcomes. Contact Ascension Saint Agnes, and our experts in gastric sleeve surgery in Baltimore will provide further assistance in answering your questions about weight loss treatments.

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