Q&A: Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Safe?

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Is gastric bypass surgery safe? – Sabrena F.

A: Gastric bypass surgery is safe as long as you are having it performed by a licensed bariatric surgeon. Your surgeon will make certain that you are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to receive the surgery. Most gastric bypass patients need to work on more than just losing the weight; they usually need to explore the reason for gaining the weight.

After gastric bypass surgery, people typically stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days and return to normal activity within 2 to 3 weeks. Nearly 10% of people have complications, which are usually minor and include:

Wound infections
Digestive problems
Ulcers
Bleeding
Nearly 1% to 5% of people have serious or life-threatening complications, such as:

Blood clot (pulmonary embolism)
Heart attack
Leak in the surgical connections with the intestines
Serious infection or bleeding
The risk of complications is lower at centers that perform more than 100 weight loss surgeries per year. Deaths in the month following gastric bypass surgery are rare (about 0.2% to 0.5%, or less than one in 200 people) when the procedure is performed by a highly experienced surgeon.

Other health problems can also occur as a result of the surgery. For example, the decrease in the absorption of nutrients like iron and calcium can cause anemia and osteoporosis. But taking nutritional supplements and getting blood tests can reduce this risk.
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Weight Loss center for more helpful articles and tips.