Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, has become an increasingly popular option for treating obesity. Different types of bariatric procedures like gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding provide effective and lasting weight loss for many patients.
However, these procedures do carry risks and potential complications that need careful consideration. In this post we'll examine the short and long-term risks patients should be aware of.
As with any major surgery, bariatric procedures involve anesthesia and changing the anatomy of digestive organs. This poses challenges including:
Proper surgical protocols minimize risks, but dangers remain higher with:
The anatomical changes made in bariatric surgery limit food intake and absorption of key nutrients over the long run. After surgery, you will also need to eat a bariatric-friendly diet to help with malnutrition.
Nutritional deficiencies include:
This often requires taking nutritional supplements for life after bariatric surgery.
|Complication if Deficient
|Bone Density Loss, Muscle Weakness
|Anemia, Cognitive Difficulties
|Hair Loss, Immune Dysfunction
|Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
|Beriberi, Wernicke's Encephalopathy
Re-routing the digestive system leads to elevated gastrointestinal issues like:
In a study of 250 post-bariatric surgery patients:
Managing nutrition, lifestyle and medications helps prevent GI complications.
Losing significant amounts of weight leaves most patients with loose, overhanging skin. This can cause physical discomfort, mobility issues, and emotional distress.
For patients struggling with severe obesity, bariatric surgery facilitates incredible weight loss and health gains when successful. However, these procedures are serious surgeries with potentially life-long implications. All patients should consider both benefits and risks with their medical team before choosing surgery. Lifestyle changes or alternative procedures may better suit some patients. Thorough understanding of complications allows properly managing risks and expectations after bariatric surgeries as well.
Allison is a seasoned nutritionist and writer with over 15 years in health and weight management. She's authored journals on medical weight loss and bariatric medicine, and has specialized in bariatric foods.
Reviewed By: Dr. K. Huffman
Dr. Kevin D. Huffman, D.O., is a board-certified bariatric physician renowned for his expertise in treating obesity. With over 10,000 patients and a reputation as a national leader in bariatric medicine, he has trained hundreds of healthcare providers. Dr. Huffman develops protocols and training materials sought after by medical societies, pharmaceutical companies, patients, and hospitals.