Although we are proud to have some of the safest and best outcomes in the nation and nationally recognized as a center of excellence, complications are associated with any surgical procedures. Surgical treatment of obesity and obesity-related health problems is considered major surgery. The risks and complications of surgical treatment of obesity are most often due to the patient’s obesity-related health problems. That is why quitting smoking and losing weight prior to surgery to decrease these risks as much as possible. Also, complications can occur if patients do not follow all of their instructions after surgery.
Risks Associated with Abdominal Surgery
- Shoulder pain
- Complications due to anesthesia and medications
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Injury/perforation of the stomach, esophagus, or surrounding organs
- Pulmonary embolism
- Stroke or heart attack
Note: Risks are associated with any type of surgery, including abdominal surgery. These risks are greater for individuals who suffer from obesity.
Risks Associated with Bariatric Surgery
- Abdominal hernia
- Chest pain
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Gallstones, pain from passing a gallstone, or surgery to remove the gallbladder
- Gastrointestinal inflammation or swelling
- Stoma obstruction
- Stretching of the stomach
- Surgical procedure repeated
- Vomiting and nausea
Note: Your weight, age and medical history play a significant role in determining your specific risks. Your surgeon can inform you about your specific risks for bariatric surgery.
Risks Associated with Gastric Banding
- Migration of implant (band erosion, band slippage, port displacement)
- Tubing-related complications (port disconnection, tubing kinking)
- Band leak
- Esophageal spasm, dilitation
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Inflammation of the esophagus or stomach
- Port-site infection
Note: Complications may result in reoperations.
Risks Associated with Gastric Bypass
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Gastrointestinal Tract Leak
- Conversion to Open Procedure
- Bowel Obstruction
- Protein Deficiency, Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency
- Failure of Optimal Weight Loss and Weight Gain
- Too Much Weight Loss - Chronic Symptoms of Nausea, Vomiting, Abdominal Pain
- Body Image - Emotional Loss - Depression
- Nerve Problems
- Low Blood Sugars (Hypoglycemia)
- Kidney Failure
- Kidney Stones
- Complications from Anesthesia
Although gastric bypass surgery has been performed since 1967, “new” complications may arise that may not have been reported before. To help identify any new complications, it is important for all patients to continue to follow up with us after surgery.
If you think that you may be experiencing a serious problem and to avoid life threatening complications call us and go to the emergency department for immediate evaluation.