If you're thinking about it, talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks, and whether it's a good idea for you.
Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery can help you shed a lot of pounds.
That weight loss often leads to other health benefits. Improvements in general health are common. Obesity-related medical conditions usually improve or even go away after weight loss surgery, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Severe arthritis
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- High blood pressure
After weight loss surgery, most people -- about 95% -- say their quality of life is better. Some studies also suggest people live longer after weight loss surgery, compared to equally obese people who don't get surgery.
Risks of Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery carries real risks. As many as 10% of people have complications afterward.
Usually problems are only unpleasant or inconvenient. Some might cause some pain and discomfort or require additional surgeries, including:
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Wound infections
- Abdominal hernias
Serious complications can happen, too. Those are rare, happening about 3% of the time. Some can be life-threatening:
- Blood clot to the lungs (pulmonary embolism)
- Leaks in the new surgical gut connections
- Bleeding ulcers
- Heart attacks
The risk is higher for people over age 60. Having weight loss surgery at a center with very experienced surgeons reduces this risk.
Even after successful weight loss surgery, other problems are common: