Risks of Post Bariatric Surgery Complications Low*
Weight loss surgery is designed to help patients lose weight and address the countless health problems that obesity can cause or make worse. While there are significant health benefits associated with losing weight after bariatric surgery, there are also very serious risks to consider. However, recent research shows that the risk for short-term complications after surgery are, in fact, very low.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health, funded a study launched in 2003 to evaluate the short-term and long-term risks associated with bariatric surgery. The study looked at 4,776 bariatric surgery patients who were 18 or older and had an average body mass index of 44.
The study found that:
- 4.1% of patients had one or more major complication within the first 30 days.
- Mortality risk in month following surgery was as low as 0.3%
- There were no significant differences in complication risk among the different types of weight loss surgeries.
- A preoperative history of deep-vein blood clots or sleep apnea increased the risk for complications.
- Patients with a higher body mass index before surgery were at higher risk for complications after surgery.
As obesity rates continue to climb, it’s important for physicians and potential patients to be fully informed about the potential risks and benefits associated with weight loss surgery.
In addition to improving weight loss outcomes, weight loss surgery is performed through minimally invasive surgical methods that reduce the risk of surgical complications, like post-operative pain and infection. While there is still a recovery process every patient will go through, the length of recovery is greatly reduced. This means that you can return to work and start going about your regular business without an extensive amount of downtime.
Weight loss surgery can reduce your risk of obesity related disease, improve your level of mobility and comfort and naturally increase energy levels.
Weight loss is also associated with marked improvements in mental health, including:
- Improved self esteem
- Reduced risk of depression
- Reduced anxiety levels
One of the most often reported hesitations concerning weight loss surgery is post-surgical complication risk, but as recent studies have indicated this is not something that should keep you from making positive changes to your health. By many standards, the health risks associated with living with obesity are greater than those associated with post-surgical complications.
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*Weight loss surgery results vary between individuals depending on the initial weight, medical conditions and adherence to prescribed treatments. Speak to Dr. Bass about the results you can expect.