Bariatric surgery helps people with extreme obesity to lose weight. It also helps people with certain life-threatening conditions which is caused due to obesity. This article provides information about the various complications that may arise due to this surgery.
There are various types of weight-loss surgeries which are collectively known as bariatric surgery. It is becoming quite a popular way to get rid of excessive fat. Even though the procedure may seem harmless, there are certain risk involved with this surgery. These surgeries limit the intake of food or reduce the absorption of nutrients, thereby leading to weight loss.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
In these procedures, the size of the stomach is reduced by various techniques that help in rapid weight loss. One such procedure is gastric banding, in which a silicone device (inflatable) is implanted in the upper part of the stomach by using laparoscopic tools. This band can be tightened or loosened as needed, which reduces the intake of food. Sleeve gastrectomy can also be performed in which a part of the stomach is removed.
Postoperative risk factors are mostly related to malabsorption when a gastric bypass is performed; wherein the body’s ability to absorb nutrients is limited. The other procedures in which the calorie intake is reduced cause problems due to malnutrition. It is important to know that this procedure is advised for patients who are obese and have an extremely high BMI, and losing weight by any other healthy way is difficult. Following are the complications that one must consider before undergoing this procedure.
The immediate risk involved with this surgery is depression. This has been observed in patients with a BMI (body mass index) of 40 kg/m2 or more. Weight loss surgery can lead to nutritional deficiencies like anemia, osteoporosis, etc. In anemia, the hemoglobin (which requires iron to be functional) level is reduced due to basic iron deficiency. This condition can occur due to malabsorption of iron. In osteoporosis there might be a malabsorption of calcium from the food. The skin may become loose and lose its elasticity.
After the surgery, if the person eats too much then the contents from the stomach may get dumped into the small intestine which can cause cold sweats and diarrhea. In some cases, the foreign object implanted into the stomach may erode the tissue. Disruption in the stapled part of the stomach may lead to food passing into the part which has been stapled off. This may lead to accumulation of food in this space which can cause severe abdominal pain.
Exposure to acids can lead to ulcers in areas of stomach that have undergone this surgical procedure. Gallstone is another condition that develops in one out of three patients who have undergone a weight-loss surgery. Gallstones are caused due to rapid loss in weight and decreased intake of food. This condition can be controlled by medication prescribed by the surgeon. Some people may experience seizures due to hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. This occurs due to compromised secretion of insulin. Incisional hernia is also observed in patients post surgery.
These are the risks that can develop during a surgery. These are divided into three categories.
- Bleeding due to splenic injury
- Injury of the gastrointestinal tract
- Complications of stapling
All the aforementioned risks are explained by the surgeon prior to the surgery. Though it is a procedure to get back into shape, there are various precautions one needs to take. A strict diet and exercise regime can help you stay fit after the surgery.