Surgery Complications & Risks

Bariatric surgery is major surgery. With gastric bypass, for example, one in every five patients has some type of complication after surgery. Complications may include drainage at the surgical site, difficulty swallowing, wound infection, bleeding, pneumonia, abscess, gastric leak, ulcer, hernia, and rarely, even death. Slippage of the band is a possible complication of laparoscopic adjustable band surgery. One life-threatening medical problem for any surgery is called deep vein thrombosis. This is a blood clot in the leg that can travel through the veins, up to the lungs (called a pulmonary embolus), and may cause death.

About one-third of people who have rapid weight loss develop gallstones. If your gallbladder has not been removed, you will be given a medicine to take for six to nine months after surgery to prevent the development of gallstones.

After losing a large amount of weight, many patients have loose, flabby skin in areas, such as the stomach, thighs, neck and underside of the arms. In many cases, patients want to have plastic surgery to fix this problem. We will help you arrange this when the time is right, usually a few years after surgery.

At your clinic appointment, the surgeon will go into more detail with you and your family about surgical complications. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.