Complications From Bariatric Surgery

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I see billboards for weight loss surgery all the time. They make it look so easy to lose weight, but I worry about the mortality rate and complications from the surgery. I just found a medical abstract that researched the complication rates from these surgeries:

Here are the facts. In this study, 21.9% of the patients experience complications during the surgery. Over a fifth of the patients had negative reprecussions DURING the surgery. That number jumps up to 81% after a 180 days.

81% of patients have complications within 180 days of the surgery!

Why would anyone willing have bariatric surgery if they knew these were their odds for health complications? The problem is, people don’t know. No one is telling them that they have an 81% chance that they will be SICK from the this surgery. No wonder health insurance companies don’t want to pay for this procedure.

Bariatric surgery is not good for you.

Via: Consumer Health Digest, July 25, 2006

See also: Expert Blogs Eat Right, Stay Fit – Weight-loss Surgery: Not a Magic Bullet on Yahoo! Health


6 Responses to “Complications From Bariatric Surgery”

  1. www.iportion.com Says:

    Some people judge these people as taking the easy road. This is not the easy way.

    This kind of surgery should only be for those who cannot lose any other way. There are two types one being more dangerous than the other but the other is easier to undo. Most people who get this type of sugary will never be “thin” they will just be thinner than they used to be though there are some exceptions. This is what I feel one of the hardest ways to lose.

  2. HappyIHadSurgery Says:

    EVERY surgy has risks. I had bariatric surgery. I was very well informed and knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I completely weighed all the risks of surgery with the benefits I would receive. THAT is how I came to my conclusion to procede.

    I was very fortunate that I have not had any ill side effects from the surgery. I will say it has been very hard. The surgery forced me to re-train myself. I’ve had to complelely learn to eat again. BUT it has enabled me to not have to take any medications. My daily “pills” are two multivitamins and a calcium pill. I don’t get short of breath walking to my car because I can now spend an hour on the elliptical machine. I can play with my children. I can tie my own shoes.

    You are right. This was a dangerous surgery to have. But living how I formerly lived was far more dangerous.

  3. Alaska Says:

    Laura, I love so much of what you have to say. You have a knack for really cutting to the heart of the issue and avoiding superfluous chatter. But I feel you’ve done a disservice with this post. It oversimplifies the issue as much as the rose-colored glasses of bariatric surgery radio ads do. As one of the previous posters stated, every surgery has risks.

    I was 70 lbs above my ideal weight when I started dieting and now I’m 22 lbs above that weight. It’s required an ongoing commitment to do it in a healthy way. I’ve taken the long road, losing the weight in 8 to 10 lb increments and then maintaining for two to four months at a time between losses. Doing so has helped me slowly change the the way I interact with food without a relapse into my self-destructive ways of thinking/eating.

    But it’s been just as hard work for my neighbor who had more weight to lose and went with the surgery method. I feel I know her well enough to say that there was nothing “easy” about the option for her.

    Are the risks glossed over? Yes, they are. That’s what you get when you mix medicine and capitalism, I guess. Are there folks getting the surgery who aren’t getting the proper pre-surgery counseling? Yes. Are there folks getting the surgery who shouldn’t be? Almost certainly. But is the surgery across the board “not good for you”? Please. For some people it really is the best option. It’s a decision to be made between a patient and his or her doctor (but perhaps NOT through a clinic that supports itself entirely through “surgical weight loss.”) Your mileage may vary.

  4. Nurse Mary Says:

    I also had weight loss surgery. I had a Roux-en-Y with micropouch in 2004. When they list the “complications” they count things that are relatively benign. I was readmitted to the hospital within 3 months after my surgery to remove my gall bladder. I guess it probably went into some statistic as a “complication” but I have a friend who lost a lot of weight through WW and also had to have gall bladder surgery. Is that a high risk complication of WW? I went to the ER once because I swallowed a piece of meat that wasn’t chewed enough and it got stuck in my pouch. That wouldn’t be a problem for a person with a normal stomach because the acid breaks it down, but newly after bariatric surgery, you have no acid. Again, I think this ER visit, although necessary, was not really a “complication” just an unpleasant experience.

  5. obesitysurgery-info.com Says:

    According to this study it wasn’t 81 percent complications after 180 days (as the blog stated) but 39 percent (which is high enough). This study did prove though that the high complication rate which Livingston found in his studies of 800 patients at UCLA (40 percent within 5 years) was pretty well on. There are always new ops who praise the surgery. Those are the ones who do well or who feel the benefits outweighed the risks for them. Those are also the ones who have NOT suffered the rebound gain most suffer (50 percent or so of the weight lost the first year often comes back). And of course, they are the ones who are here to tell about it. Unfortunately, the many who do not have such a good testimony about it often keep silent. Bariatric surgery is a tool but not a panacea. Like all surgeries it definitely has its place but like many surgeries today, it is possible that bariatric surgery is performed too often. No surgery should be sold like “used cars”.

  6. obesitysurgery-info.com Says:

    With reference to the billboard in LV with the blond on it, she was fired from the doctor’s office. Although she is keeping off over 200 lbs with bariatric surgery, she had an 80 lb rebound gain and the doc told her that she no longer represented “the look” his office wanted.

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