Bariatric surgery is a weight loss surgery, performed on those who are extremely obese. There are a number of complications associated with this surgery. The following article provides information about the various risks associated with this surgery.
People who are extremely obese and cannot reduce their weight through normal measures, may opt for a weight loss surgery as a last resort. Excessive body weight can cause serious health issues such as high cholesterol, heart problems, etc., which create a lot of pressure on the heart. The surgery that is performed to reduce weight is known as bariatric surgery. It is useful for weight loss, and also improves the overall health of the person. This surgery is recommended for people having a body mass index of 40. It might also be recommended for people with a BMI of 35, accompanied by some serious medical condition like diabetes. However, as beneficial this surgical procedure might be, it does have some drawbacks.
The procedure involves decreasing the size of the patient’s stomach with the help of an implanted medical device, or by removing a portion of the stomach. It can also be done by resecting and rerouting the small intestines to a stomach pouch. It is a fairly invasive procedure, and you must ask your doctor about the complications of this surgery. It is classified into 3 types: predominantly malabsorptive procedure, predominantly restrictive procedure, and mixed procedure.
A possible risk of gastric bypass surgery is the development of an ulcer at the point where the small intestine joins the upper part of the stomach. There are chances that people who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers like aspirin, can experience this problem. Another complication is hernia or a marked weakness in the incision. A rare consequence is narrowing (stricture) of the opening between the stomach and intestine. It can be corrected with the help of another surgery.
NIPHS (non-insulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycemia syndrome) or post-bariatric surgery hypoglycemia has also been found to occur rarely. Furthermore, after this surgery, the body may not absorb some vitamins and minerals. It can create problems like anemia due to deficiency of iron or vitamin B12. Neurological complications could occur as a result of vitamin B12 deficiency, and kidney stones due to changes in how the body absorbs calcium and oxalate. Bone disorders may occur post surgery as a result of mineral or vitamin D deficiency. It could also make one susceptible to dehydration.
These are the complications which occur during the surgery itself. Reactions to anesthesia, breathing problems, blood clots (which may travel to the brain), blood loss, harm to surrounding organs, and death in rare cases, are some of the other risks involved.
No physical disorder comes without psychological implications and this surgery is no exception. Such a surgery is emotionally weighing, especially when you cannot eat as much as you want to. People also react in strange ways, which could either have a positive or negative impact on their mindset, depending upon the reaction.
In addition to the aforementioned complications, some people may experience body ache, fatigue, cold, dry skin, hair thinning, hair loss, and mood alterations post surgery.
If you think you may not be able to deal with the consequences, especially, psychological and emotional, you can always take help of support groups without hesitation. However, considering the risks associated with it, one should consult a doctor before undergoing such weight loss surgery, to find out if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.