Patient Education

Bariatric Patient Education

Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix. It's intended for a person who has a long history of obesity. Most often someone has tried various alternatives to lose weight, with limited or no success. The ideal candidate is 100 pounds over an ideal body weight and has a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 40, or a BMI greater than 35 with co-morbid condition related to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes. At Southern Regional, our team of experts can help you properly determine if bariatric surgery is the right option for you.

Benefits and Risks for Patients


  • Studies have shown that severe obesity is associated with very high risk of health problems, early death and cancer.
  • The loss of as little as 10% of excess weight has been shown to reduce or eliminate the use of medications for associated diseases such as, hypertension, diabetes and lipid disorders.
  • Patients can get back to a regular exercise routine, which can further enhance results.
  • Sleep apnea and shortness of breath can be reduced or eliminated.
  • Improved self-esteem and establishing a new healthier lifestyle can be the end result.


Surgery for severe obesity is a major operation in which complications can arise when performed by a laparoscopic technique. Overall risk of complications:

  • 5% of patients have a risk of a complication related to the surgery
  • Less than 1% risk of death

Other than the known risk of anesthesia and any major abdominal surgery the specific problems which have been reported include:

  • Infection secondary to leakage from the stomach or intestine
  • Bleeding or injury to the spleen
  • GI tract obstruction secondary to adhesions scarring or strictures
  • Malnutrition or anemia
  • Ulcers
  • Chronic vomiting or diarrhea