Is Weight Loss Surgery Safe?

April 26, 2023 | Obesity

When considering weight loss surgery, it is natural to want to know details regarding if it is considered a safe option for weight loss.

You may be surprised to discover that weight loss surgery is considered effective and as safe or safer when compared to other elective and abdominal surgeries.

Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, has been shown to provide many benefits. This is especially true if you are struggling with obesity and possibly the various other health problems associated with being overweight such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and/or sleep apnea. Some of the benefits include:

  • Substantial amount of weight loss: Weight loss surgery can help you lose a significant amount of weight, which improves your overall health and reduces your risk of developing various obesity-related diseases.
  • Improved mobility: Weight loss can improve your mobility due to less weight being placed on your joints.
  • Improve your energy levels: Weight loss carries with it many emotional and physician benefits. As your weight goes down, your energy levels tend to go up.
  • Reverse your high blood pressure: Losing weight can help lower your blood pressure as well as your cholesterol levels. In turn, this can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Send Type 2 Diabetes into remission: Weight loss surgery has been shown to be a very effective treatment for Type 2 Diabetes. Many of our patients experience significant improvement or remission of this disease within the first month after surgery.
  • Improve your mental outlook: When you feel good, your mental outlook tends to improve as well. Weight loss also tends to improve your motivation as well as reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
  • Increase your expected lifespan: When your risk of developing obesity-related diseases and when your existing health problems are improved, this positively impacts your overall health and longevity.

Risks of Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery, like any surgery, carries some risks. However, for most patients, weight loss surgery is safe and can result in significant improvements in your health and quality of life.
The safety of weight loss surgery can depend on a variety of factors such as your age, your overall health and the type of surgery performed. Some of the potential risks include:

  • Bleeding or blood clots: As with any surgery, bleeding at your incisional sites can occur. If is important to monitor any bleeding and notify your surgeon as soon as possible. Blood clots can also occur with any surgery. This is why precautions such as early and often ambulation, use of compression socks, and a short acting blood thinner are often utilized.
  • Infection: The potential for infection comes with any surgery or procedure. It is important to monitor your surgical incision sites as well as your temperature after surgery and follow all instructions after surgery. Of course, notify your surgeon any time you have concerns or questions.
  • Anesthesia-related complications: Anesthesia is generally safe but of course, carries some risks. You will be evaluated prior to surgery and closely monitored during and after surgery as well to avoid any problems such as nausea and vomiting, allergic reactions, respiratory problems or any heart related problems.
  • Leaks or blockages in your digestive system: While rare, a leak or blockage in your digestive system can occur. Your surgeon and experienced team take various steps to minimize your risks and it is important for you to follow all pre and post-operative care requirements.

These risks can be minimized through careful pre-operative screening, having a skilled surgeon and a comprehensive pre and post-operative program.

Necessary Lifestyle Changes

While weight loss surgery should not be considered a quick fix or a last resort. If you undergo weight loss surgery, you will need to make lifestyle changes including changes to your diet and activity level in order to achieve and maintain weight loss.

And we find many of our patients saying “I wish I hadn’t waited so long to have weight loss surgery” once they experience the many benefits that come with significant weight loss.

Other Considerations

If you are exploring your weight loss surgery options, we encourage you to make sure you select a skilled and experienced surgeon who specializes in bariatric surgery and has a comprehensive program for before and after surgery. This helps to ensure a safe and successful outcome.

If you would like more information or would like to take a 60 second quiz to see if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery, you can do so at the Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors website.