Bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, gastric banding and duodenal switch help in long term weight loss. Bariatric surgery is recommended for patients with a BMI of 40 or more or obese patients suffering from obesity related pathological conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, fatty liver, etc. Bariatric surgical procedure is very effective in causing weight loss and improving the obesity-related diseases. However, there are some complications and risks associated with bariatric surgery.

An experienced bariatric surgeon such as Dr. Sanjay Choudhary, who is the Senior Surgical Gastroenterologist at Koda International Hospital in Dubai will explain all the potential complications and long and short term side effects of bariatric surgery to the patient. The surgeon also clears all the doubts pertaining to side effects and complications that may be present in the patient’s mind.

Minor to major bleeding can occur during gastric bypass surgery necessitating emergency blood transfusion to prevent death. Blood clots known as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolus can also develop during gastric bypass surgery which can cause death. Stomach leakage is another grave complication associated with gastric bypass. The divided stomach can start leaking digestive enzymes, acid and bacteria which cause the development of an abscess and infection. Surgery is required to treat this condition. Other complications of gastric bypass include hernia, ulcers, dumping syndrome, allergic reactions and anesthetic complications.

In case of gastric banding procedure, the band can cause erosion of the stomach and needs to be removed. Prolapse is another complication associated with the gastric banding procedure. The band or the stomach may slip which causes gastroesophageal reflux. Surgery is required to treat the condition. Other complications include bleeding, infection, stomach perforation, blood clots, allergy and bowel obstruction.

Gastric sleeve surgery is also associated with a number of complications such as blood clots, gallstones, stomach or intestine perforation, internal bleeding, hernia, stricture and skin separation.
Side effects

Less absorption of nutrients after bariatric surgery can cause malnutrition which, in turn, may result in anemia, osteoporosis and other health problems. Thus, it is necessary to take the prescribed dose of vitamins and minerals after the surgery. Gall stones can develop over a period of time due to rapid weight loss. This is the reason why the bariatric doctor may prescribe medicines to prevent the formation of gallstones, which need to be taken for about 6 months after the surgery.

Obstruction of the stoma which is the opening connecting the stomach pouch to the small intestine by food particle is also a common side effect. This results in consistent vomiting. The blockage is removed by endoscope. Another side effect of bariatric surgery is an intolerance to certain food items such as red meat. Eating such food items cause nausea, vomiting and heartburn.

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