Weight Loss Surgery Information
Health Risks and Complications of Gastric Bypass and Lap Band Adjustable Gastric Banding

Health Risks & Dangers of Bariatric Surgery

Diet Information - Bariatric Surgery - Gastric Bypass Procedure - Lap Band Stomach Banding
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Health Complications and Risks of Weight Loss Surgery

Health Dangers
Gastric stomach surgery is a serious operation which carries a risk of premature death in about 1 percent of cases. Patient condition, plus the expertise of the bariatric-surgeon and anesthesiologist, along with the quality of operating room services are additional factors to consider when evaluating the risk of gastric obesity surgery. As far as post-operative health risks are concerned, these can be minimized if patients carefully follow the dietary and exercise guidelines laid down by their weight loss surgeon and dietitian.

Health Complications of Restrictive Surgery
Post-operative health dangers of restriction procedures like gastric-banding and stomach stapling include:

  • Risk of Vomiting
    Commonly caused if the patient's small stomach pouch is stretched by food particles that have not been chewed well.
  • Risk of Hernia
    10-20 percent of obese patients require additional corrective surgery to fix problems like abdominal hernias typically caused by vomiting or straining after surgery before the incision heals. Laparoscopic surgical techniques tend to reduce the risk of hernia.
  • Risk of Blood Clots
    These tend to occur in the legs after surgery, to about 1 percent of patients
  • Risk of Infections
    There is typically a 5 percent risk of infection in the scarring/incision area.
  • Risk of Breakage of the Gastric Staple Line
    This only occurs in bariatric operations that use staples to reduce stomach size, like vertical banded gastroplasty.
  • Risk of Band Slippage and Saline Leakage
    This can occur after lap band or other forms of adjustable gastric banding.
  • Risk of Bowel Obstruction
    This rare complication can occur due to adhesions caused by scar tissue.
  • Other health complications include stomal stenosis and marginal ulcers.

Health Risks of Malabsorptive Surgery
Post-operative health dangers of malabsorption procedures like roux-en-y or biliopancreatic stomach-bypass include:

  • Risk of Dumping Syndrome
    Dumping, also called rapid gastric emptying, can occur if food in the stomach pouch passes too rapidly into the small intestine due to overeating, especially of sugary foods. Dumping is not a real health danger, but symptoms (nausea, faintness, sweating and diarrhea) can be upsetting.
  • Risk of Nutritional Deficiency
    Since gastric bypass surgery involves bypassing the duodenum and part/all of the jejunum, causing insufficient absorption of vitamins and minerals, patients can develop deficiencies in iron, calcium plus vitamin D and B12 deficiency, to name but four. This can be easily corrected by a continuous program of nutrient supplemention.
  • Risk of Gallstones
    About one-third of obese patients who have gastric bypass surgery develop gallstones.
  • Health Risks Resulting From Corrective Bariatric Operations
    About 15-20 percent of obese patients who undergo stomach bypass surgery require follow-up gastrointestinal operations to correct complications (hernias). These follow-up operations tend to carry higher risk of complication and (rarely) death.

Note: Weight loss surgery, whether bypass or stomach banding, to reduce severe clinical obesity is a serious undertaking with serious health risks requiring detailed consultation with your doctor and bariatric physician.

Source includes material from: Bariatric Surgery Information



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