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Anyone Have Gastric Sleeve Surgery Complications? Any Horror Stories? "near Death" Experiences?

Started by carbgrl, Dec 23, 2011 5:16 AM
7 replies to this topic
7 replies to this topic


    Aspiring Evangelist

  • Posts: 537
  • Joined: Dec 2011
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Posted December 23, 2011 - 5:16 AM

I'm scared to death of any surgery. I have a severe fear of dying in surgery much more than the normal nervousness and anxiety. I still can't believe I had the lapband put in. I'm terrified about having an organ cut away but, I'm fed up (ha, ha) with the band. Not only because I've gained almost all of the weight back but, also because I don't want to spend the rest of my life throwing up on a daily basis and there are so many foods I can't eat. I'd like to hear some of the worse case scenerios and hopefully, how people have recovered.



  • Posts: 18
  • Joined: Dec 2011
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
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Posted December 23, 2011 - 5:44 AM

I am in the same boat. I had to have all fluid removed from band and I still have restrictions. I was banded in 2002 with a small size band which is no longer available. I had several slippings and a port that was flipped.
I lost at first, but I was afraid I was going to loose my esophogas from spitting up so much. I was told that I produce way too much saliva for the band to work properly. (Good for teeth, Band for Band).

I am scared as well. I am a widow so my fears are a little higher due to that. I lost my mother in May of this year. She was only 65 and weighed around 340 at 5'2". She had had double knee surgery, broke her femur and was wheel chair bound due to a bad surgery from broken femur. My grandmother was equal in size to my mother and died at 67 years old. I REFUSE to let this happen to me.

I am 46 with two beautiful girls that I want to have many more years with. As scary as surgery is for me.. checking out of this world in 20 years is equally scary.

I feel like if they said I needed heart surgery to live longer... I would pretty much say.. Do it today!
I survived back surgery twice within the past year and a half. I can survive this and so can YOU.

I have only been on here a couple of days now and I have seen many stories. Don't ask for bad stories- ask for the good ones. Everyone is very different I have seen. Some are great in 3 days... some in 7... some in 9. No ONE has said they were DEAD yet. LOL

I am always expecting the worst and I want to be aware of what can happen- but after reading some of the post-I see that there is no Black and White about the sleeve revision. It is all different. We are all different and react different. I am just glad to be getting this dang band out! Dec. 30th- New year... New Life....


    So happy with my body now

  • Posts: 1,491
  • Joined: Dec 2010
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: CALIFORNIA
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Surgeon: Alberto Aceves
  • Surgery Date: Jan 2011
  • Height: 5 feet 8 inches
  • Starting Weight: 232 lbs
  • Weight Lost: 97 lbs
  • Current Weight: 135 lbs
  • Goal Weight: 150 lbs
  • BMI: 20.5
Posted December 23, 2011 - 4:58 PM

There is the chance for a complication with any surgery, and if you look here, you will find people who had complications. However, the vast majority of people don't have complications, and the small number who do have them treated and recover. The one or two people who have died from the procedure that I know of (no one on this board) did so from cardiac or pulmonary problems that can occur with any surgery.

I wrote a letter before surgery about my last wishes and funeral plan and left it in my house in case I died during surgery and that seemed to help with some of my fears. I tore it up after I came home. I also had no complications and feel great today. I'm coming up on the anniversary of my surgery in a few weeks.


    Bariatric Master

  • Posts: 1,134
  • Joined: Sep 2010
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: TX
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Surgeon: Younan Nowzaradan
  • Surgery Date: Dec 2010
  • Height: 5 feet 5 inches
  • Starting Weight: 286
  • Weight Lost: 138
  • Current Weight: 148
  • Goal Weight: 143
  • BMI: 24.6
Posted December 23, 2011 - 10:31 PM

I was pretty scared when I used to think about having most of my stomach cut out. My revision went great though. I am almost and year out and I still can't believe how amazing I feel. The surgery is totally 100% worth it. I love my sleeve and I would go through the surgery again to have the life I have now.


    BariatricPal Host

  • Posts: 7,332
  • Joined: Jul 2011
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: WA
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery Date: Dec 2011
  • Height: 5 feet 5 inches
  • Starting Weight: 308 lbs
  • Weight Lost: 168 lbs
  • Current Weight: 140 lbs
  • Goal Weight: 158 lbs
  • BMI: 23.3
Posted December 25, 2011 - 3:40 AM

You sound like me - I feel that I had an irrationally high fear of the surgery. I don't like medical procedures of any kind, and the anthesthsia scared me alot.

So, here is what i did.... I broke my fears down and really investigated and learned about them. Due to the band, I had this small persistant cough, caused by the mild and ever persistant reflux (slipped band). I had this idea that my lungs and stuff couldn't hold up to the anesthesia. Well, I talked to my doctor about it and they really checked and helped me understand that people with truly impaired lungs get through surgery just fine. I did that with my major fears.

Then, I had the band removed before I was really ready to be sleeved. I did that because the doctor suggested it might be lower risk and most importantly he wanted that slipped band OUT before further problems developed and I just wasn't ready to be sleeved. That was the smartest decision ever. Even though my band had been emptied, I had regained all my lost weight etc etc, i apparently still had some restriction. Once that band came out I was so hungry. I started gaining weight. I tried to diet, i tried to not eat so much but the hungry drive was enormous.

One day, it really hit me - I needed the help that the sleeve procedure provides and that without it I would just keep gaining. The dreams and ambitions I have for the rest of my life would be cut short by increased obesity.

Of course, some of the concerns I had - risk of leak etc still remained, but were in much healthier perspective.

This is major surgery, it is a big deal - but - it isn't THAT bad. Compared to the terrible things obesity is doing to my body, compared to the risk of just dropping dead (middle age and high BMI is a deadly combination), compared to me missing out on stuff i want to do surgery started looking pretty good.

It was a long process for me to get there, but by the time my sleeve was done, I was pretty excited and looking forward to it, with a little bit of fear as opposed to being dominated by the fear and anxiety.

BTW, my surgery was 12/12. I lost 8 pounds on the preop diet (really, just lost what I had gained since having he band removed) and have lost another 20 pounds since my surgery! Woo hoo - feeling like a great start.


    Aspiring Evangelist

  • Posts: 537
  • Joined: Dec 2011
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Posted December 25, 2011 - 7:31 PM

Thanks for all the responses. I'm pretty convinced I don't have much of a choice. I have sleep apnea. I also have insomnia so, I"m afraid that one day I won't wake up because I've taken something for the insomnia. I got put on bp meds for the first time in my life last week and I don't like the way they make me feel. All that on top of all the band problems of puking, slimming and extreme food limitations and STILL gaining weight. I just can't live like this (fat and miserable) anymore.

    Thomas CPA

    Bariatric Guru

  • Posts: 466
  • Joined: Aug 2011
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: CA
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Posted December 26, 2011 - 12:19 AM

I had sleep apnea also. The surgery helped me eliminate that problem though from what I hear it may not always occur but my Kaiser surgeon said it would be resolved if the problem was just excess weight.

The surgery is relatively safe, less than 1% chance morbidity and as far as complications, I haven't had any. Tossed Cookies two or three times as stomach was getting used to foods again.

You can put weight back on if you keep picking at food all day or eat out of emotions. I put on a couple of pounds during holidays but only like 3 but part of it is not getting to gym on routine basis with workload increase.

You mentioned bp meds and insomnia, this is not related to weight and I have same problems. BP is a lifelong disease and my insomnia is really bad especially now with the holidays which bring on depression and emotional eating. Do get proper psychological treatment, trust me from experience.

Good luck with surgery.


    Junior Guru

  • Posts: 307
  • Joined: Dec 2011
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: CA
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery Date: Dec 2011
  • Height: 5 feet 7 inches
  • Starting Weight: 230 lbs
  • Weight Lost: 58 lbs
  • Current Weight: 172 lbs
  • Goal Weight: 155 lbs
  • BMI: 26.9
Posted December 27, 2011 - 3:28 PM

The revision was my 6th abdominal surgery, and I had a tiny thought in the back of my mind that the law of averages was going to catch up with me. The surgery went beautifully, I'm 2 weeks post-op, and the only thing I notice is that I tire easily. But I feel great. I agree with the others. Look to the positives. I still can't quite mentally accept the fact that I had most of my stomach removed. That's mind-boggling. But I know that I did the best thing for me.

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