All surgeries have an inherent risk associated with them. Risk factors will vary based on the patient’s co-morbidities, including type 2 diabetes. The risks and possible side effects also vary from one type of surgery to the next. Some of the risks include, but are not limited to the following:
Bleeding: Internal bleeding is a rarely occurring risk associated with Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery. There is also a risk of bleeding at the incision sites for all procedures.
Blood clots: Following any major abdominal surgery, there is a risk of blot clots forming in the legs, called deep vein thrombosis. If the blood clot detaches and floats to the lungs, it is called a pulmonary embolus. We mitigate this risk with the use of a blood thinner, special boots that massage the patients’ legs after surgery and by encouraging patients to walk as much as possible following the surgery.
Vitamin And Mineral Deficiency: This risk, most associated with Gastric Bypass surgery, is a result of the body’s diminished ability to absorb nutrients. In some cases, this can lead to anemia, osteoporosis or metabolic bone disease. Patients who maintain a healthy post-surgery diet, take their dietary supplements and regularly follow up with their physician or nutritionist are less likely to be affected.
Other post-operative risks include:
- Lung issues such as pneumonia
- Greater risk of heart attack
- Infections at the surgery sites
While there are risks associated with bariatric surgery, we feel they are outweighed by the long-term risks associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Patients are encouraged to discuss all the risk factors with their surgeon to better understand all of them.