There is risk associated with any type of surgical procedure, and weight loss treatments are no different. Whether you're thinking of having a gastric bypass or a sleeve gastrectomy, you should be aware of the potential for serious complications, and in some cases even death.
The risks of complications during the actual procedure include infection, internal bleeding, blood cots and problems relating to the general anesthetic invariably used in weight loss procedures. However, provided you are in the hands of an experienced surgeon, the probability of something going wrong are relatively low.
The risks of complications after surgery, include issues such as acid reflux, band slippage (in the case of gastric banding), hernias, food intolerance, pulmonary problems as well as an increased probability of heart failure and heart attack. There is also a risk that weight loss may stop after the first year or so.
Mortality rates of obesity surgery can vary dramatically from clinic to clinic, country to country, and patient to patient. For example, a leading weight loss clinic in London will have lower overall risk than an unestablished clinic in Romania.
In general, gastric banding has a mortality rate of one in two thousand. A gastric bypass doesn't fare to well, with one in two hundred and fifty patients dying during surgery or soon afterwards.
Common Bariatrics Questions
What are the side effects of a gastrointestinal bypass operation?
How much pain will I experience during or after a stomach banding procedure?