Due to the simplicity of the answer to this question, this topic will not be extensive; however, we want to start by saying that this question should be the least of your worries.

Suppose you are contemplating weight loss surgery with the aim of not only losing weight but also improving your health in terms of controlling or preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, reducing the risk of heart attack, cancer, heart attack, renal failure, etc. In that case, the reality is that your concern about what will happen when you get older, concerning your smaller stomach size, does not figure out since all these diseases related to obesity significantly affect the quality of life.

A common concern for patients

This question is persistent, especially considering it is not a dispensable or replaceable organ. But it must be taken into account that specifically gastric sleeve surgery, despite changing the anatomy of the stomach, does not considerably alter its functioning apart from the decrease in the production of certain substances such as ghrelin (an effect that causes benefits in the weight loss) and the occasionally reduced absorption of a specific vitamin (Vitamin B12) that can be easily supplemented.

The reality is that the gastric sleeve does not cause drastic changes in the anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract. In other words, even though the stomach will be of a different size, it will function the same whether it is recently operated on or in old age.

Long-term effects of gastric sleeve

As we mentioned in other sections of our obesity website/blog, if there is a negative aspect of the gastric sleeve, it is precisely the presence of "de novo" reflux; that is, patients who have never suffered from reflux could start with the said symptom.

However, the good news is that most patients who develop reflux only suffer from it temporarily, and in around 70% of cases, this discomfort subsides or improves considerably around the sixth month after the operation.

Some patients wonder what the consequences will be in the medium or long term of not having a portion of their stomach. The answer is NONE; there is no consequence related to the absence of said portion of the organ since practically all its main functions prevail.

How to take good care of your stomach

Many patients ask us what care to take concerning their stomach after being operated on. The reality is that no particular care is required beyond what is already established on what the patient should do and avoid to prevent complications in the first weeks and in the long term to prevent weight gain.

Regarding reflux, the recommendation consists of avoiding everything that usually causes reflux, such as excess fat, excess alcohol, a low-protein diet, spicy foods, excessive seasonings, etc., nothing different than what a person without surgery should do for good gastrointestinal health.

Can there be gastrointestinal problems in senescence from having this operation?

There is no gastrointestinal problem in old age related to gastric sleeve surgery. On the contrary, as we have previously mentioned, if the gastric sleeve affects a person's life, it is almost exclusively from a positive point of view, helping them to control serious diseases that put their life at risk and to avoid many others, giving him a better quality of life. It has also been proven that bariatric surgery increases life expectancy by approximately ten years.

Years ago, the myth was generated that weight loss surgery, in general, caused people to die after a short time. Some said that 10 or 20 years after surgery. The truth is that this misinformation generated a lot of fear in those times, but it could not be further from the truth.

If you have more questions about this topic or gastric sleeve surgery in general, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. At Obesity Free, we are ready to evaluate you and answer all your questions.