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Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?

Risks and Side Effects

The most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, excessive sweating, increased gas, and dizziness.

Serious side effects can include bleeding, infection, leaks from the places where your stitches are, and blood clots in the legs that can move to the heart and lungs. Most people don’t get any of these.

Long-term problems following weight loss surgery depend on which type you have. One of the most common issues, especially with gastric bypass, is "dumping syndrome," in which food moves too quickly through the small intestine. Symptoms include nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, diarrhea after eating, and not being able to eat sweets without feeling very weak. It can occur in up to 50% of people who had weight loss surgery. But avoiding high-sugar foods and replacing them with high-fiber foods may help prevent it.

Gallstones can form when you lose a lot of weight quickly. To help prevent them, your doctor may recommend taking supplemental bile salts for the first 6 months after surgery.

You'll need to make sure you're getting enough nutrients, too, especially if the surgery made it harder for your body to absorb nutrients from food.

Because rapid weight loss and nutritional deficiencies can harm a developing baby, doctors often advise women of childbearing age who get weight loss surgery to avoid pregnancy until their weight becomes stable.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on September 10, 2014

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