Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for You?
Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery
After weight loss surgery, most people lose weight for 18-24 months. At that point, many people start to regain some of their lost weight, but few regain it all.
If you had any medical conditions related to obesity, those usually improve after weight loss surgery. Some conditions, such as diabetes, can improve quickly. Others, such as high blood pressure, may take a little longer.
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.