Bariatric surgery itself is generally a safe procedure, especially with recent technological advancements in the surgical field. The effects of surgery on the digestive system might pose specific risks like nutritional deficiency caused by malabsorption, leading to conditions like anemia or osteoporosis.
What are the benefits of bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery currently is the best and fastest option for significant and long-lasting weight loss in morbidly obese people. Along with weight loss, many obesity-related health issues tend to resolve along with the resulting weight loss, enhancing the patient’s quality of life.
The life expectancy improves in many, as does general health, and ability to do daily activities. It is important to follow a healthy lifestyle and eating habits to sustain the weight loss and improved health.
How is bariatric surgery performed?
Bariatric surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Most bariatric surgeries are laparoscopic, but some patients may need conventional surgery. The procedure may last several hours. A surgeon specializing in bariatric surgery will perform the procedure. A gastroenterologist is integral in caring for the patient before and after the surgery.
- The patient first undergoes blood, urine, and imaging tests.
- Based on the individual’s specific needs, the surgeon decides on the type of bariatric surgery.
- The patient must stop taking blood thinners, have nothing to eat or drink 8 hours prior to surgery, and check with the doctor before taking any regular medications.
- An anesthesiologist administers anesthesia and monitors the patient’s vital functions during the surgery.
- The surgeon performs bariatric surgery and closes the incisions with sutures.
- The patient is monitored in a recovery room and administered painkillers for post-surgical pain.
- The patient may be required to remain in the hospital for a few days, depending on the type of surgery.
- Patients will generally not be allowed to eat for one or two days after surgery to let the digestive system heal.
- The dietitian will prescribe a diet regimen for the patient post-surgery.
- Patients must supplement the diet with multivitamins, calcium, and iron.
- Patients must modify their lifestyle and eating habits.
- Periodic health check-ups will be required post-surgery.
- Body contouring procedures might be required to correct flabbiness caused by weight loss.
How long is recovery from bariatric surgery?
With a laparoscopic surgery a patient is usually discharged in two or three days and most patients will be able to get back to normal activities in three to five weeks, depending on their original stage of obesity and other health conditions.
What are the risks and complications of bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery may not be suitable for everyone, and in some, it may not achieve the desired weight loss. The patient has to combine it with a modified lifestyle, diet, and activity. Bariatric surgery has a few risks and possible complications, some of them specific to this kind of surgery.
Risks from surgery
- Anesthetic side effects like headache, nausea, and confusion
- Excessive bleeding
- Blood clots
- Breathing problems
- Leaks in the digestive tract
- Abdominal pain
Besides the surgical risks, other complications (listed by procedure type) may include:
- Injury to the stomach or food pipe
- Displacement or leakage of the band
- Leaking of the sleeve
- Long-term risks are still being evaluated
- Leakage from the digestive tract
- Distension of stomach
Stomal stenosis or narrowing of the gastrointestinal tract
- Bowel obstruction
- Staple line leaks
- Dumping syndrome
- Acid reflux
- Nutrient deficiency
Top How Dangerous Is Bariatric Surgery Related Articles
The 80-20 (or Weekend) DietThe idea here is that you get to splurge a bit if you eat healthy most of the time. Find out more about this approach and what it might do for you.
Anectine (succinylcholine chloride)Anectine is a prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of Neuromuscular Blockade. Anectine may be used alone or with other medications. Serious side effects include cardiac arrest, life threatening elevation in body temperature, abnormal heart rhythms, fast or slow heart rate, high or low blood pressure, high blood potassium, prolonged slow breathing, increased eye pressure, muscle twitching, jaw rigidity, postoperative muscle pain, breakdown of muscle tissue (rhabdomyolysis), excessive salivation, and rash.
Childhood ObesityFast-food consumption and lack of exercise are just a couple of causes of childhood obesity. Health effects of childhood obesity include type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, asthma, sleep apnea, gallstones, fatty liver disease, GERD, depression, and eating disorders.
Childhood Obesity QuizChildhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Take the Childhood Obesity Quiz to test your knowledge of the facts and causes of overweight and obese kids and teens.
cryoprecipitateCryoprecipitate is a blood product containing specialized insoluble blood proteins known as coagulation factors that regulate the clotting and clot-dissolving processes. Cryoprecipitate is obtained from plasma, the fluid component of blood, and is used to treat patients with blood clotting (coagulation) disorders and to control hemorrhage during major surgery or during and after childbirth. Common side effects of cryoprecipitate include transfusion-related complications, allergic reactions, and post-transfusion bruising (purpura).
dextranDextran is a prescription medication used to treat hypovolemia (decreased volume of circulatory plasma blood) resulting from surgery, trauma, severe burns, or other causes of bleeding. Dextran may be used alone or with other medications. Common side effects of dextran include mild itching, rash, body aches, numbness or tingly feeling, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, mild dizziness, weakness, low fever, and brown discoloration of your skin. Do not take if breastfeeding.
Best/Worst Late Night SnacksIf you're truly hungry for a bedtime snack, don't ignore your body's signals. It's hard to fall asleep when your tummy's rumbling or your blood sugar is low. The right nighttime snack can help you fall asleep faster and sleep better.
Diet & Weight Loss: Reasons You're Not Losing Belly FatIf you're trying to lose belly fat but can't, there's probably a reason.
Entereg (alvimopan)Entereg (alvimopan) is an opioid receptor antagonist that works by preventing narcotic side effects without reducing the pain-relieving effects of the drug used to speed recovery of stomach and intestinal functions after a gastrointestinal surgery and to prevent side effects caused by narcotic medications. Common side effects of Entereg include stomach pain or upset, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, or back pain.
ketorolacKetorolac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used for short-term acute pain relief that requires opioid level of pain relief (analgesia). Ketorolac is not used for treating minor or chronic pain. Serious side effects include gastrointestinal bleeding, gastrointestinal perforation, congestive heart failure, heart attack (myocardial infarction), liver failure, kidney failure, and coma (rare). Common side effects include headache, increase in liver enzymes, gastrointestinal symptoms, and others. Consult your doctor before taking ketorolac if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Obesity and OverweightGet the facts on obesity and being overweight, including the health risks, causes, reviews of weight-loss diet plans, BMI chart, symptoms, causes, surgical and nonsurgical treatments, and medications.
OxyContin (oxycodone)OxyContin is a prescription opioid pain medication used to manage pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment. Serious side effects of OxyContin include noisy breathing, shallow breathing, breathing that stops during sleep (sleep apnea), slow heart rate or weak pulse, lightheadedness, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, and worsening tiredness or weakness.
propofolPropofol is an intravenous anesthetic drug used for general anesthesia and sedation during surgical procedures. Common side effects of propofol include injection site burning, stinging or pain; low blood pressure (hypotension), reduced cardiac output, elevated blood pressure (hypertension), pause in breathing (apnea), lung impairment (respiratory acidosis), impaired movement, high level of emulsified fats in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and high triglyceride level in blood (hypertriglyceridemia). Abuse of propofol can cause death and other injuries.
succinylcholineSuccinylcholine is a skeletal muscle relaxant used for medical procedures done under general anesthesia, including tracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, and surgeries. Common side effects of succinylcholine include postoperative muscle pain, jaw rigidity, muscle twitch (fasciculation), respiratory depression, cessation of breathing (apnea), low or high blood pressure (hypotension or hypertension), irregular heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias), slow or rapid heartbeat (bradycardia or tachycardia), cardiac arrest, increase in intraocular pressure (IOP), high blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia), severe life-threatening drug reaction with excessively high temperature (malignant hyperthermia), salivary gland enlargement, excessive salivation, rash, hypersensitivity reactions, and others.
Weight Loss Challenges: Why Can't I Lose Weight?Finding it difficult to lose weight? It’s a hard thing to do, and there are some surprising reasons you may not be losing weight as quickly as you hope. From sleep cycles to calorie counts, health food fakers to prescription drugs, learn many of the stumbling blocks that can prevent you from reaching your health goals.
Weight Loss QuizAre you trying to lose weight? Take this quiz to see what you can add to routine to get on the right track for results!
Weight Loss Surgery QuizWhat happens after weight loss surgery? What should you eat? Take this quiz to learn about bariatric surgery. Are you a candidate?
What Is the Safest Form of Bariatric Surgery?Each type of bariatric surgery has its own benefits and drawbacks. The surgeon suggests the type of surgery based on the individual’s health and needs. Some types of bariatric surgery restrict the size as well as absorption of nutrients. All surgeries carry a certain amount of risk, but restrictive surgeries are safer than restrictive/malabsorptive surgeries as they do not permanently interfere with the digestive system.