Risks of Bariatric Surgery

Risks and Complications of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Surgery should not be considered until you and your family doctor have evaluated all other options. As with all surgeries, there are risks associated with the laparoscopic or open gastric bypass procedure. Though nearly every gastric bypass surgery performed by Hope Bariatrics is started as a laparoscopic operation, your doctor may choose to convert to open surgery. Your family doctor and surgeon must determine if you are an appropriate surgical candidate.

Indication

Weight loss surgery is typically reserved as a treatment for those individuals 100 pounds or more overweight (Body Mass Index [BMI] of 40 or higher) who have not responded to other less invasive therapies such as diet, exercise, medications, etc.

In certain circumstances, less morbidly obese patients (with BMIs between 35 and 40) may be considered for surgery (patients with high-risk co-morbid conditions and obesity-induced physical problems that are interfering with quality of life).

Important Considerations

The proper approach to weight-loss surgery requires discussion and careful consideration of a patient’s individual risks and benefits. Here are some things to consider regarding the decision to have gastric bypass surgery:

  1. Bariatric procedures are in no way to be considered as cosmetic surgery.
  2. The surgery does not involve the removal of adipose tissue (fat) by suction or excision (this is NOT liposuction surgery).
  3. Gastric bypass surgery is an “elective” surgery; that is, the patient is choosing to have it and the pre-operative process should involve an assessment of the risk and benefit to the patient.
  4. Gastric bypass surgery should not be thought of as reversible.
  5. The success of weight loss surgery is dependent upon long-term lifestyle changes in diet and exercise.
  6. Problems may arise after surgery that may require re-operations.

Success of surgical treatment must begin with expert surgical care, nutrition education and patient commitment to following the program guidelines.

Complications and Risks

As with any major surgery, there are possible short and long-term complications and risks. Gastric bypass surgery does involve some risk, the surgeons of Hope Bariatrics have very low complication rates but you must be aware of possible risks including but are not limited to:

  • Gastric leak
  • Deep vein thrombosis / plumonary embolism (blood clot to leg or lung)
  • Bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Wound Infections
  • Marginal ulcers
  • Pulmonary problems
  • Heart problems
  • Complications due to anesthesia and medications
  • Stenosis
  • Hernias
  • Weight gain
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Anemia
  • Death

Each patient has more than one opportunity to discuss surgical risk with the surgeon before gastric bypass; every effort is made by the Hope Bariatric team to minimize each patient’s risk.

Online Seminar

After you have viewed the seminar, complete the quiz. Be sure to submit it and include your contact information. Once we receive your results someone from our office will call you. We will review the next step and answer all of your questions.

Upcoming Events

Mar 11
Bariatric Support Group, 6 p.m.
Heritage Valley Sewickley
Apr 08
Bariatric Support Group, 6 p.m.
Heritage Valley Sewickley
Apr 17
Informational Seminar, 10 a.m.
Hope Bariatrics Office Conference Room Call to register: 412-741-8862

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