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Over 80% of the general population of Saudi Arabian are aware of post-SG complications

Researchers from Saudi Arabia have reported that more than 80% those who took part in a survey were aware of the possible complications following sleeve gastrectomy. Ina survey of 1,013 participants, a total of 692 (68%) participants showed awareness of BMI; in addition, 987 (97%) were aware of gastric sleeve surgery, and 538 (53%) understood its indications correctly.

Despite sleeve gastrectomy (SG) being the most common bariatric procedure, there can be unfavourable complications including stomach fistulas, haemorrhaging, bleeding and leaking, and other issues during the operation, as well as additional late complications such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and nutritional deficiencies. Therefore, the researchers sought to determine the level of awareness among the general population in Saudi Arabia regarding SG complications and design a cross-sectional survey to collect data.

“Public awareness plays a crucial role in early detection, timely intervention, and improved patient outcomes. Currently, there is limited information available regarding the awareness of bariatric sleeve gastrectomy complications in the general population,” the authors noted. “By assessing public knowledge, perceptions, and misconceptions regarding SG complications, we can identify areas of low awareness and develop targeted educational interventions to bridge the gaps. Ultimately, improved awareness among the general population can prevent or minimise complications, empower patients to seek appropriate medical help when needed and facilitate shared decision-making between patients and healthcare providers.”


In total, 1,013 participants were enrolled, predominantly comprising individuals between 18 and 25 years of age (471, 46%), females (692, 68%), holders of bachelor's degrees (636, 63%), and residents of the Northern region (320, 32%). Although, 692 (68%) of the participants demonstrated awareness of BMI, only 35% identified a BMI of 30kg/m2 or higher as indicative of obesity. Additionally, 987 (97%) were familiar with SG, and 538 (53%) correctly understood its indications. The majority concurred that adults with a BMI exceeding 35 kg/m2 and those with a BMI surpassing 40 kg/m2 were suitable candidates for SG.

Regarding SG complications, approximately 821 (81%) of the participants exhibited awareness. Most of the respondents were aware of haemorrhage, nutritional and mineral deficiencies, and iron deficiency as acute complications, while most of the respondents were aware of chronic complications, including anaemia, iron deficiency, as well as nutritional and mineral deficiencies.

There were significant associations between knowledge of SG and residing in the Northern region of Saudi Arabia (p=0.031). Additionally, individuals aged 18-25 years, possessing a bachelor's degree and residing in either the Northern or Southern regions of Saudi Arabia exhibited significant knowledge of SG indications (p<0.05). Furthermore, a significant association was observed between being female, falling within the 18-25 age group, having a bachelor's education, and possessing knowledge about SG complications (p<0.05).

“It is now simple to find information and answers about any procedure or problem thanks to the Internet's rapid development, widespread presence, and the involvement and help of doctors on social media,” they noted. “We recommend that doctors post more information on social media.”

According to our study, we found that the knowledge of the general population was adequate regarding the indications and their complications; however, there was a significant lack of knowledge about BMI,” they concluded. “Having good knowledge about BMI affects their awareness of the indications and complications of sleeve gastrectomy positively. There is still room for improvement in terms of knowledge about the subject, specifically in terms of BMI and how to correctly identify an obese person. These indicate that community awareness is necessary to increase the public's knowledge of the subject. Healthcare practitioners have the most important role in educating the community about the importance of having adequate knowledge of the indications and complications of sleeve gastrectomy.”

The findings were reported in the paper, ‘Awareness of Bariatric Sleeve Gastrectomy Complications Among the General Population of Saudi Arabian Regions’, published in Cureus. To access this paper, please click here


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