Benefits and Risks
You know bariatric surgery is life-changing. Many people experience a tremendous improvement in their overall health, well-being, and outlook on life after surgery. It’s important you consider these benefits as well as the potential risks.
What are the benefits of bariatric surgery? The benefits include:
- Significant, sustained weight loss.
- Remission of Type 2 diabetes in 84 percent of patients. Others typically require less medication than they did before the surgery.
- High blood pressure is resolved about 80 percent of the time.
- Reduced risk of heart disease.
- Lowered cholesterol.
- Sleep apnea is resolved about 80 percent of the time.
- Improved breathing.
- Resolution of symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri (pressure inside your skull).
- Relief from acid reflux and/or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Reduced osteoarthritis pain and improved mobility.
- Enhanced fertility in younger women.
- The risk of breast and colon cancer is decreased by 80 percent in the first three years after gastric bypass.
- Improved mood and self-esteem.
What are the risks? If you’re considering bariatric surgery, please discuss these potential risks with your doctor:
- Infections caused by leaks of digestive juices from where the bowel was moved.
- Blood clots can occur. In order to avoid this problem, you'll receive blood-thinners, wear special compression cuffs during and after surgery, and you'll begin taking walks the evening of your surgery.
- Dumping syndrome can occur when the stomach’s contents move through the small intestine too rapidly. This causes abdominal cramps, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Wound infection is possible at incision sites, but this risk is greatly reduced with laparoscopic surgery.
- Hernias can occur but are extremely rare with the laparoscopic approach.
- Gallstones and/or gallbladder disease can develop due to the body’s rapid weight loss. A medicine taken for the first six months after surgery reduces the risk to 3 percent.
- Vitamin deficiencies can occur, but can be prevented by taking daily vitamin supplements. Periodic lab testing ensures appropriate vitamin intake.
- As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of death. Studies have shown that risk of death within 30 days after gastric bypass is approximately 0.3 percent. The National Institutes of Health state the risks surrounding gastric bypass are no greater than they are with surgeries such as gallbladder removal or hip replacement.
- Osteoporosis will occur unless the patient takes extra calcium and vitamin D. This is the most serious long-term problem.
Considering weight loss surgery? Understand your benefits, risks, and access more bariatric weight loss information. Our free bariatric seminar will give you the information you need. Speak face-to-face with our staff about your concerns, and hear from someone who has already had the surgery.
I want to know more about the bariatric weight loss seminar.