Risks of Surgery

Important Considerations

The best approach to bariatric surgery calls for discussion of the following with your doctor:

  1. Bariatric surgery does not involve the removal of adipose tissue (fat) by suction or surgical removal.
  2. The patient and doctor should discuss the benefits and risks together.
  3. The patient should commit to long-term lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, which is key to the success of bariatric surgery.
  4. Problems after surgery may require more operations to correct them.
Risks of Surgery

Complications of Bariatric Surgery

As with any surgery, there are immediate and long-term complications and risks. Your healthcare team can speak with you further about the benefits and risks. Possible risks can include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding
  • Complications due to anesthesia and medications
  • Deep Vein
    • Pulmonary Embolism
    • Portal or Mesenteric Vein Thrombosis
  • Infections
  • Leaks from staple lines
  • Marginal ulcers
  • Spleen injury
  • Strictures
  • Death

Possible Side Effects

  • Vomiting
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Gallstones
  • Need to avoid pregnancy temporarily
  • Nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, increased gas

Why Would I Have an Open Procedure?

In some patients, the laparoscopic or minimally invasive approach to surgery cannot be used. Here are reasons why you may have an open procedure, or that may lead your surgeon to switch during the procedure from laparoscopic to open:

  • Prior abdominal surgery that has caused dense scar tissue
  • Inability to see organs
  • Bleeding problems during the operation

The decision to convert to an open procedure is a judgment call made by your surgeon either before or during the actual operation and is based on patient safety.

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