Top 5 Risks/Considerations of Bariatric Surgery
While bariatric surgery is generally a very positive step for any person suffering from morbid obesity, there are, of course, risks and considerations that must be taken into account before moving forward.
1. Are You Ready?
Have you prepared yourself BEFORE surgery? Some patients who are considering bariatric surgery are actually malnourished. You need to adjust your diet and start an exercise program preferably before you have surgery. Surgery (and the anesthesia) place stress on your heart and lungs. You’ll handle this better if you prepare yourself prior to surgery.
2. Infection and Surgical Risk
Bariatric surgery is major surgery and comes with risks including infection. Walk as much as you can, stay hydrated and follow your post-op directions to avoid infection. If you have pain or THINK you have an infection, call your surgeon.
3. Nutritional Deficiencies
As you eat less, your body receives fewer nutrients. Be sure to follow your prescribed diet and supplementation guidelines, as these will allow you to get the nutrition you need.
4. Surgery is Permanent
The gastric sleeve procedure and gastric bypass procedure are not reversible and you will have to live with your decision for the rest of your life. It is important you understand the commitment that you are making when you choose weight loss surgery.
5. Strict Diet
If you choose gastric bypass, you will need to stick to a very strict diet. When you don’t, dumping syndrome, which is very uncomfortable, can occur. While non-life-threatening, dumping syndrome is the result of consuming high fat and high sugar foods. Gastric bypass patients will also have to supplement their diet with vitamins for the rest of their lives. For long term success, it will be important for all bariatric patients to make, and stick with, lifestyle changes.