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Risks of Bariatric Surgery

Complications and Risks of Bariatric Surgery

As with any surgery, there are operative and long-term complications and risks associated with weight loss surgical procedures that should be discussed with your doctor. Possible risks include, but are not limited to: 

  • Bleeding* 
  • Complications due to anesthesia and medications 
  • Deep vein thrombosis 
  • Dehiscence 
  • Infections 
  • Leaks from staple line breakdown 
  • Marginal ulcers 
  • Pulmonary problems 
  • Spleen injury* 
  • Stenosis (narrowing of the connections) 
  • Low blood sugars ** 
  • Internal hernias or bowel blockage

*Removal of the spleen is necessary in about 0.3 percent of patients to control operative bleeding.
** Very rare. Less than 50 cases reported in medical literature.

The following are not considered complications, but important and expected changes that happen after certain weight loss operations and will require lifestyle modifications for the rest of your life:

  • Vitamin malabsorption 
  • Chronic anemia 
  • Excess skin (Neck, abdomen, arms and thighs) 
  • Hair loss and skin changes (only during the rapid weight loss phase) 
  • Feeling tired (only during the first 8 weeks)

If bariatric surgery is performed laparoscopically and complications occur during the operation, your doctor may choose to perform open surgery.

For More Information

For more information, please call 574-523-3264 or toll free at 855-874-3BMI (3264).


FREE Bariatric Informational Seminars

Bariatric Surgeons Eric Knapp, DO and Luis A. Benavente, MD provide in-depth presentations on the latest weight-loss surgical techniques, including a review of the potential benefits and risks. A general discussion period will follow.

For more information, please call 574-523-3264 or toll free at 855-874-3BMI (3264).