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What are the serious complications of weight loss surgery?

ANSWER

Serious complications 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.

SOURCES:

News release, Allergan.

Hedley, A. The Journal of the American Medical Association, June 16, 2004.

Rand, C. International Journal of Obesity, September 1991.

Virji, A. American Family Physician, April 15, 2006.

Brethauer, S. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, November 2006.

Buchwald, H. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Oct. 13, 2004.

American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery: "Rationale for the Surgical Treatment of Morbid Obesity."

Collazo-Clavell, M. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, October 2006.

Shah, M. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2006.

Malinowski, S. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, April 2006.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 14, 2019

SOURCES:

News release, Allergan.

Hedley, A. The Journal of the American Medical Association, June 16, 2004.

Rand, C. International Journal of Obesity, September 1991.

Virji, A. American Family Physician, April 15, 2006.

Brethauer, S. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, November 2006.

Buchwald, H. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Oct. 13, 2004.

American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery: "Rationale for the Surgical Treatment of Morbid Obesity."

Collazo-Clavell, M. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, October 2006.

Shah, M. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2006.

Malinowski, S. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, April 2006.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 14, 2019

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What will the recovery from weight loss surgery be like?

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