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Bariatric and Metabolic resources for a healthier life

Find out how a gastric banding bypass surgery could potentially help you lose weight



What are the risks of gastric bypass surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, potential risks and complications can occur. Although these problems rarely happen, it’s important to know the facts.

If you're considering gastric bypass surgery, we encourage you to attend a bariatric and metabolic surgery informational seminar hosted by a trained surgeon.

Potentially serious complications:

  • A condition known as dumping syndrome can occur from eating high-fat, high-sugar foods. The results can be unpleasant and may include vomiting, nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, and diarrhea. Some patients actually view this as a positive mechanism that prevents them from reverting back to unhealthy eating habits.
  • Patients must supplement their diet with a daily multivitamin and calcium. Some patients must take vitamin B12 and/or iron.
  • The stomach, duodenum, and parts of the small intestine cannot be seen easily using X-ray or endoscopy if there are problems after surgery such as ulcers, bleeding, or malignancy.
  • Dehiscence (separation of tissue that was stitched or stapled together)
  • Leaks from staple lines
  • Ulcers
  • Increased gas

Bariatric and metabolic surgery risks

  • Abdominal hernia
  • Chest pain
  • Collapsed lung
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Enlarged heart
  • Gallstones, pain from passing a gallstone, inflammation of the gallbladder, or surgery to remove the gallbladder
  • Gastrointestinal inflammation or swelling
  • Stoma obstruction
  • Stretching of the stomach
  • Surgical procedure repeated
  • Vomiting and nausea

Note: Your weight, age and medical history play a significant role in determining your specific risks. Your surgeon can inform you about your specific bariatric and metabolic surgery risks.

Risks associated with abdominal surgery

  • Bleeding
  • Complications due to anesthesia and medications
  • Death
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Injury to stomach, esophagus, or surrounding organs
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Shoulder pain
  • Stroke or heart attack

Note: Risks are associated with any type of surgery, including abdominal surgery. These risks are greater for individuals who suffer from obesity.


Metabolic and bariatric and metabolic surgery is as safe or safer than other commonly performed procedures, including gallbladder surgery.20,27 When performed at a Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Center of Excellence, bariatric and metabolic surgery has a mortality rate of 0.13 percent.27Gallbladder removals have a mortality rate of 0.52 percent.27

All surgeries present risks. These risks vary depending on weight, age, and medical history, and patients should discuss these with their doctor and bariatric and metabolic surgeon.