Surgery Benefits and Risks

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

  • 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.

Risks Involved

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