Complications of Weight Loss Surgery

General surgical risks 

Weight loss surgery, as with any major surgery, has risks of which you should be made aware. Although surgical complications are infrequent, it is important for you to fully understand any potential risks so you can make an informed decision. Your surgical team will use their expertise and knowledge to avoid complications. If a problem does occur, your surgical team will use those same skills to attempt to solve the problem quickly. The importance of having a highly qualified medical team and the use of a certified facility cannot be overestimated. In general, less serious problems tend to occur more frequently than serious issues which rarely occur. If a complication does arise, you, the surgeon and the nursing staff will need to cooperate in order to resolve the problem. Some complications can involve an extended hospital stay and recovery period. It is important to know that bariatric surgery cannot be completely reversed. The decision to have this procedure must be made in consultation with your surgeon and a very careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks and lifelong consequences. There is no amount of weight loss that is guaranteed for bariatric surgery. Weight control is the personal responsibility of the patient.

Potential complications of bariatric surgery include, but are not limited to:

  •  Infection, bleeding or leaking at suture/staple lines
  • Blockage of intestines or stomach pouch
  • Dehydration
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs
  • Vitamin and/or mineral deficiency
  • Protein malnutrition
  • Incisional hernia
  • Irreversibility, or difficulty reversing some procedures
  • Revisional procedure(s) sometimes needed
  • Death

 Speak to your physician about other possible side effects and/or complications that may not be listed here.

Potential side effects of bariatric surgery include, but are not limited to:

  • Nausea and vomiting , Gas and bloating ,Lactose intolerance ,Changes in bowel habits
  • Temporary hair thinning
  • Depression and psychological distress
  • Changes in bowel habits


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