For people who live with serious weight-related health complications, bariatric surgery has proven to be an effective option.
side effects of bariatric surgery

Side Effects of Bariatric Surgery

For people who live with serious weight-related health complications, bariatric surgery has proven to be an effective option. Bariatric surgery, which involves gastric bypass surgery and other weight-loss surgeries, is a procedure that contains changing the digestive system in order to help you lose weight.

Bariatric surgeries are weight-loss options for patients who have tried diet and exercise but have not been able to sustain results. Experts consider these surgeries to be effective, but it is important for people to note that they do not come without risk. All bariatric surgeries are major operations, and no procedure is without risk or potential side effects. If you are considering bariatric surgery, there is what you need to know about possible risks and side effects.

Bariatric surgery in Turkey might not be suitable for everyone, and in some, it may not achieve the desired weight loss. The person has to combine it with a modified lifestyle, diet, and activity. Bariatric surgery has a few risks and possible side effects, some of them specific to this kind of surgery.

The Negative Impact of Bariatric Surgery

Generally, bariatric surgery is remarkably safe. Mortality rates for bariatric surgeries in expert centers are comparable with those for other common operations such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Nonetheless, risk and side effects can be lethal in bariatric surgery. This requires prompt treatment by clinicians who are familiar with the procedure and its potential adverse outcomes.

Inclusion criteria for bariatric surgery underlines the importance of a patient’s comprehension of the risks and consequences of the operation as well as the necessary preparation for surgery. People are often required to follow a very low energy diet for at least two weeks preoperatively to minimize hepatomegaly, which can make surgery more technically difficult. Patients taking antihypertensive or glucose-lowering medication need close supervision during this process. Smoking and alcohol consumption are also generally viewed as contraindications to bariatric surgery. After the bariatric surgery and acute recovery stage, mandatory long-term multidisciplinary behavior requires motivation and compliance from the patient.


Possible Side Effects

The side effects listed below are the most common after bariatric surgery. However, they are all rare:

Bleeding: Any surgical procedure can bleed. The risk of bleeding is low in bariatric procedures. Bleeding ranges about 1% in operations and is usually controlled in reoperation without adverse outcomes.

Leaking: This is the most feared complication for all procedures. Leakage might lead to severe infection and need for reoperation. Fortunately, this is very uncommon in quality medical centers.

Gallstones: These are common after any weight loss, regardless of bariatric surgery or not. In some conditions, the gallbladder will need to be removed, which is an outpatient surgery.

Vitamin or mineral deficiency: This is sometimes due to a difficulty in absorbing vitamins after bariatric surgery. This condition is easily remedied through the use of proper supplements, which are important to take after bariatric surgery.

Excess Skin in the Body

Rapid weight loss among obese people results in skin becoming excessively loose and folded. Folds of skin are most typically acquired around the breasts, back, abdomen, limbs, and hips. These are normally most apparent 12 to 18 months after bariatric surgery. The folds can be unsightly, they might harbour moisture leading to infections and rashes. These excess skin flaps can be removed and the skin tightened using cosmetic procedures.

Because of gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy surgery, or adjustable gastric band surgery, drastic weight loss usually happens. This weight loss can cause one of the more common bariatric surgery side effects, an excess of hanging skin. The severity of this problem depends on many factors, involving how much weight has been lost, your skin type, the speed at which the weight was lost, and the amount of exercise you perform.

Stoma Blockage After Procedure

Stoma blockage is a common side effect of bariatric surgery that occurs when the opening (stoma) that connects the stomach pouch to the small intestine becomes blocked by a piece of food, resulting in persistent vomiting. The condition occurs in around one-fifth of patients. This is treated by directing a small flexible tube called an endoscope into the stoma where a balloon attached to the endoscope is inflated to remove the obstruction. To avoid stoma blockage after bariatric procedures, you must always be taken food in small bites and chewed thoroughly.

Dumping Syndrome

Bariatric surgeries alter your digestive tract, which results in food moving through the intestine much more quickly. Dumping syndrome consequences when the stomach empties rapidly after eating. Patients might feel weak, dizzy, nauseous, or have heart palpitations shortly after a meal. This condition can be avoided if people follow good eating habits and post-operative instructions.

Dumping syndrome will happen if you eat foods high in sugar or fat after a gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgery. Sugar is not part of your post-procedure diet because the stomach pouch is attached to a portion of the intestine that has never processed sugar before. Therefore, consuming sugar or high-calorie foods will cause nausea, diarrhea, and possibly vomiting.

The State of Constipation

Constipation as a side effect of bariatric surgery is quite common. Constipation is known as having fewer than three bowel movements in a week, feeling the need to strain during bowel movements, or having hard stools.

After bariatric operations, the frequency of bowel movements will change, partially due to reduced food intake. However, a diet higher in protein, especially protein supplements, can also affect regular bowel movements after bariatric surgery. Similarly, if you are dehydrated, you might experience constipation.

Fortunately, constipation is only common in the first few months after weight loss surgery. The best way to avoid experiencing constipation after bariatric surgery is to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration, increase fiber intake, and exercise more. You might also try stool softeners, milk of magnesia, or other laxatives if necessary

Changes in Social Life

Unfortunately, some people will experience unsupportive coworkers, peers, and even family members or friends after weight loss surgery. Whether through harsh words or actions, it is not uncommon for people to notice a shift in their friend groups and social life.

Long-term success after bariatric surgery focuses on a shift in your eating and exercise habits. Your old friend group might not support you wanting to eat smaller, healthier meals or spend time at the gym. Similarly, you will begin to notice how often social activities are centered around eating.

As hard as it might be to hear, you may need to distance yourself from these old friends and find a group of supportive individuals who support your health journey.


The Study of Side Effects of Bariatric Surgery

According to a recent study published in the ‘Journal of Bariatric Research,’ which analyzed a large cohort of patients who underwent various bariatric procedures, the most common side effects outlined in this article align with their findings. The study emphasized the importance of patient education and preparation for the potential risks associated with bariatric surgery. It confirmed that while bariatric surgeries are generally safe, they are not without their risks, and prompt medical intervention is essential if any complications arise. This study, along with expert insights from healthcare providers, underscores the significance of understanding the possible side effects and taking appropriate precautions when considering bariatric surgery.

Be Brave!

As with any major surgery, weight loss procedures carry some risks and side effects. Expert doctors and the dedicated bariatric care team will carefully review all potential risks and side effects well before your surgery. Common complications involve pneumonia, blood clots, infection, bleeding, leaking at staple lines, ulcers, hernia, and gallstones. Generally, the risks associated with weight loss surgery are importantly less than the risk of remaining morbidly obese. Although bariatric surgery has possible risks and side effects, losing weight is a big step in your life. You can calculate the risk and benefit analysis of bariatric surgery during your consultation with expert doctors. Is not it time to get rid of extra pounds?

Healthy Türkiye is Always with You

Despite these side effects of bariatric surgery, the procedures are very effective in helping people lose a significant amount of weight and regain their health. If you are interested in starting your weight loss journey with a bariatric surgeon in our network, you can schedule an appointment on Healthy Türkiye