Benefits and Risks

Hospitals & Locations > TriHealth Weight Management

In addition to weight loss, there are many improvements in patients’ well-being associated with life after weight loss surgery, especially when it comes to improvements to obesity-related co-morbidities.

Condition Percent Unchanged Percent Improved Percent Resolved
Osteoarthritis 10     47 41
Hyperlipidemia 4 33 63
GERD 4 24 72
Hypertension 12 18 70
Sleep Apnea 5 19 74
Depression 37 47 8
Diabetes 0 18 80
CAD 0 75 25

Source: Schauer, P.R., Ikramuddin, S., Gourash, W., Ramanathan, R., & Luketich, J. (2000). Outcomes after laproscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for morbid obesity. Annals of Surgery, 232, 1-24.

Surgery Has Risks

As with all surgeries, there are risks and complications associated with weight loss surgery. While many of these risks are infrequent, it is important for you to fully consider them before undergoing surgery. Possible risks include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding *
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Injury to spleen *
  • Bowel leak
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Depression
  • Anemia
  • Hair loss
  • Nutrient deficiencies

*Removal of the spleen is necessary in about 0.3 percent of patients to control operative bleeding.

Weight Loss Surgery Also Could Cause:

  • Death in less than 1 percent of patients.
  • Heart attack in less than 1 percent of patients.
  • Pulmonary embolus (blockage of artery in the lungs) in 2 percent of patients.
  • Wound infections in 15 to 20 percent of patients.
  • Ventral hernia in 16 percent (open approach) and 0.3 percent (laparoscopic) of patients.
  • Iron deficiency in 18 percent of patients.

Informed Consent Necessary

Because there are potential risks and complications associated with weight loss surgery, you should be well informed before making your decision. This is necessary if you are to give what is called “informed consent” for the procedure.

Informed consent is a legal term meaning that a patient agrees that they have received and understood enough information about a procedure’s benefits and risks to allow them to make a decision that is right for them. Your surgeon will require you to sign a consent form before performing your procedure. Before you sign a consent form, you should have a solid understanding of what is about to take place. You should know what you would need to do to live well after the operation. And you should be aware of the signs or symptoms of complications to look for which may occur after your surgery.


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