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Bariatric Surgery Complications

Chronic obesity is a very serious problem for millions of people around the world. Fortunately, bariatric surgery is a potential solution with long-lasting results. Candidates can enjoy many benefits after these types of procedures, including living a healthier lifestyle and significantly reducing their risk of disease. Any surgical procedure carries the risk of complications, however, and bariatric surgery is no exception. 

To ensure that patients understand and are prepared for potential bariatric surgery complications, the medical team working with the Tijuana Bariatric Center in Tijuana, Mexico, will thoroughly explain what to expect and discuss any myths and misconceptions you have found in your research. You can also minimize your risk of complications by thoroughly researching care providers and choosing a reputable practice.

Risk Factors

Some risk factors that can predispose patients to complications from bariatric surgery are:

  • High body mass index (BMI)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Deep vein clots, pulmonary embolism, or clotting problems

Potential Complications and Side Effects

Rare and short-term risks of bariatric surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Anesthesia reactions
  • Breathing problems
  • Blood clots
  • Gastrointestinal leaks

Some of the more common long-term complications and side effects from bariatric surgery include:

  • Changes in bowel function: Bowel function changes after bariatric surgery can include loose stools or diarrhea, constipation, and gurgling noises. Most of these changes can be managed with dietary changes.
  • Indigestion and nausea: These concerns can usually be treated with dietary changes. If indigestion persists, medication such as antacids may be indicated. Patients might also experience an intolerance to certain foods or suffer from nausea and vomiting.
  • Dumping syndrome: Dumping syndrome occurs when the stomach is rapidly emptied of food (especially sugar). Patients may experience weakness, dizziness, flushing and warmth, nausea, and heart palpitations immediately or shortly after eating. This complication can be managed by sticking with the prescribed bariatric diet.
  • Band problems: Band problems for patients who have had LAP-BAND® surgery may include band slippage, band leakage, band intolerance, and band erosion. Either another bariatric surgery or band removal is necessary to fix these issues.

Other complications include gallstones, hernias, food entrapment, pouch complications, hair loss, and malnutrition. Hair loss and malnutrition can be minimized or avoided by eating a recommended bariatric diet, as well as taking any prescribed nutritional supplements.

Vegetable juices
Following the prescribed diet can minimize your risk of post-surgical complications.

Other Ways to Minimize Complications

Patients can take steps to minimize any potential complications from bariatric surgery. Most importantly, candidates should lose as much weight as possible before surgery. The lower the patient’s BMI, the lower their surgical risks. Starting a healthy, bariatric diet well before surgery is recommended.

The patient should also be thoroughly informed about what to expect before and after the surgery, including the lifestyle changes that will be required for a successful outcome. The patient should make friends and family aware of these changes so that they can be supportive. The patient should get tested for sleep apnea several weeks before surgery as sleep apnea is highly undiagnosed and can pose significant surgical and post-surgical risks. Patients should quit smoking before surgery since smoking puts patients at a higher risk for postoperative blood clots, pneumonia, heart attacks, and death.

Patients should quit smoking before surgery since smoking puts patients at a higher risk for postoperative blood clots, pneumonia, heart attacks, and death.

Following the surgery, patients should engage in light activity as soon as possible to promote healing and circulation. Walking is usually the type of exercise recommended for several weeks post-surgery. Patients should also develop a good support system including friends, family, an in-person weight loss surgery support group, or an online support group.


Contact Us Today to Learn More

The qualified medical professionals working through the Tijuana Bariatric Center are committed to helping patients have a successful bariatric surgery experience. For more information about bariatric surgery complications and how to avoid or minimize them, contact the Tijuana Bariatric Center today.

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