Potential Surgery Risks

The risks include, but are not limited to, the usual risks of any surgery which involves general anesthesia, including problems with the following:

  • Breathing and pneumonia
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Hernias at the site of the incision
  • Infection
  • Death

The risks specific to gastric bypass surgery include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Leaking or rupture along the stapled area of the stomach
  • Gallstones
  • Nausea and vomiting, especially if you overeat
  • Dumping syndrome (a condition in which you eat too much sugar or fat, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, shakiness, dizziness and sweating)
  • Nutritional deficiencies (such as iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and folic acid)
  • Blocked intestine (bowel obstruction)
  • Hair loss
  • Constipation
  • Excess skin after weight loss

Although you may not be able to avoid all complications, risks after surgery may be minimized by following these guidelines:

  • Closely follow recommended meal sizes
  • Take small bites
  • Chew slowly and thoroughly
  • Take 20 to 30 minutes to eat each meal
  • Follow recommended amounts of fat and sugar for each meal

Consult a dietitian about how to maintain the most nutritious diet possible, for advice on nutritional supplements, and information on taking fiber to avoid constipation.

Bariatric surgeries are not without severe risks including death and should only be considered as a last resort for weight loss. Weight loss varies according to the individual. This surgery is designed for those with a body mass index equal to or greater than 40, or equal to or greater than 35 with serious co-morbidities.