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What are the risks of gastric bypass (weight loss) surgery?

Risks depend on the specific type of procedure you are having. All weight loss surgeries have risks of bleeding, infection, blood clots, poor weight loss and even death.
 
Gastric bypass surgery risks include:
  • bleeding
  • staple line leak
  • peritonitis
  • stricture
  • blockage (obstruction) of the intestines
  • ulcers 
Gastric sleeve surgery risks include:
  • bleeding
  • staple line leak
  • stricture
  • reflux
  • nausea or vomiting
Gastric band surgery risks include:
  • infection of the band or port
  • gastric prolapse
  • gastric erosion
  • leaking of the port or tubing
  • reflux
  • stretching of the food pipe (esophageal dilation)
Possible risks associated with gastric bypass (weight loss) surgery include bleeding, staple line leaks, strictures or narrowing of the anastomosis and occurrence of internal hernias in the long run. However, all procedures have risks attached to them.
Gastric bypass surgery comes with some risks, including increased potential for surgical problems and malnutrition afterward. In this video, bariatric surgeon Neil McDevitt, MD, of Trident Medical Center explains more.

Gastric bypass surgery can be a life-saving procedure, but like any major operation it has risks. Find out what they are in this video featuring bariatric surgeon James "Butch" Rosser Jr., M.D.

In addition to surgical complications from gastric bypass surgery, some people experience long-term deficiencies of vitamin B12, folate, and iron. "Dumping syndrome," in which the consumption of sugar causes abdominal cramping and diarrhea can also occur. Some people will also regain some weight in subsequent years.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.