Understanding the Risks of Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery is relatively low risk. However, there is always a certain amount of risk involved in ANY surgical procedure – so we want you to be well informed when considering weight loss surgery. Rest assured that the team at Acadiana Weight Loss Surgery takes all precautions possible to reduce the risks of complications related to surgery.
As with any surgery, there may be immediate and long-term complications and risks. You should discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor or healthcare team. The best approach to bariatric surgery calls for a discussion of the following:
- Bariatric surgery is not cosmetic surgery.
- Bariatric surgery does not involve the removal of adipose tissue (fat) by suction or surgical removal.
- You must commit to long-term lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, which are key to the success of bariatric surgery.
- Complications after surgery may require further operations.
- Patients who undergo bariatric surgery have significantly reduced rates of developing cancer, cardiovascular diseases, endocrinological disorders, infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, psychiatric disorders and pulmonary disorders.
Some of the common risks associated with weight loss surgery:
- There have been small incidences of wound infection, respiratory problems, blood clots, ulcers, spleen injury, complications from anesthesia and medications, gallstones or stenosis.
- Nutritional deficiencies can occur, but they can be avoided by taking vitamins and minerals and having follow-up lab work done regularly after surgery.
- A very small percentage of patients may develop a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that travels to the lungs), respiratory failure, bleeding or a gastrointestinal leak. Our surgeons and nurses take every possible step before, during and after surgery to prevent these complications, but they can still occur in rare cases.
- A very small percentage of patients may require follow-up operations in the future.
- The approximate risk of death is 0.5% of patients undergoing weight loss surgery in the United States.