Benefits and Risks of Weight Loss Surgery

What are the benefits of weight loss surgery?

Many patients who have gone through weight loss surgery have found it to be a tremendously rewarding experience with lasting benefits to their overall health, their self-esteem, and their quality of life. Some of the benefits of weight loss surgery include:

  • Achieving a large amount of weight loss in rapid fashion
  • Maintaining weight loss over the long term, as opposed to struggling with constant “ups and downs” of weight loss and then weight regain
  • Improved overall health
  • Decreased risk of premature death (meaning a lower risk of dying at a young age due to weight-related health problems)
  • Prevention, improvement or even cure of certain obesity-related health problems:
    • For example, many patients have seen significant improvement in their diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, reflux, and other weight-related health conditions
    • Many patients have required taking fewer medications after weight loss surgery as compared to before surgery
  • Weight loss resulting in less knee pain, back pain, hip pain, and other joint pains
  • Better night’s sleep due to improved sleep apnea
  • Having more energy to keep up with your children, grandchildren, and other loved ones
  • No longer missing out on fun activities like hiking and other outdoor activities
  • Improved self-esteem:
    • No longer feeling embarrassed or shy about your body appearance
    • Feeling comfortable in public places like the swimming pool or beach
    • Not having to struggle with finding the right clothes in shopping stores
    • Being able to comfortably sit in an airplane, bus, or movie theater seat
    • Having more self-confidence

What are the risks of weight loss surgery?

In general, weight loss surgery is very safe. However all surgeries include risk, and bariatric surgery is no exception. Risks associated with weight loss surgery are rare and include:

  • Leaks (esophageal, gastric, or small bowel fluids)
  • Blood clots / Pulmonary Embolism
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Gastrointestinal problems (eg: nausea, vomiting, bowel obstruction or motility problems)
  • Strictures, ulcers, fistulas
  • Poor wound healing / hernias
  • Vitamin/Mineral/Nutrient deficiencies
  • Need for additional procedures or treatments
  • Intra-abdominal injury, nerve injury
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

Our surgeon will discuss the risks of surgery in detail with you before your procedure.

At the Guthrie Weight Loss Center we will work with you on an individual basis to help you assess the risks and benefits of surgery particular to your case. By working together we can make decisions about which bariatric procedure might be right for you, and help develop an individualized plan of care for you. We also encourage you and your family to attend our support group meetings, where you will have an opportunity to meet with other patients who have already gone through the process of weight loss surgery. Our aim is to educate and empower you to take the next step in your fight against obesity, and to support you in our comprehensive multidisciplinary program both before and after surgery.