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What To Expect

Benefits

The benefits of Bariatric Surgery are impressive. The difference between this and simple diet and exercise is that Bariatric Surgery has long term success. Patients are able to lose the weight but more importantly keep it off. Because of this, we see dramatic improvement in related health conditions.

Risks

All surgical procedures carry a certain degree of risk. Keep in mind that the risks must always be compared to the benefits obtained from weight loss and the improvement in health problems related to obesity.

% Co-Morbidities Resolved



In addition, many other conditions such as arthritis, skin infections, asthma, infertility and lymphedema can be improved. There is an improvement in the ability to participate in physical and recreational activities. The majority of patients notice improved social and economic opportunities. Patients who may have suffered from depression or anxiety notice an improved sense of well being.

Gastric Bypass Risks

The overall risks of Bariatric surgery are low and most patients experience few, if any, complications. However, depending on your BMI, age, medical history and which operation you choose, complications may arise which can be serious and even fatal. It is important to discuss all these factors with your surgeon before you come to a decision if weight loss surgery is right for you. To minimize your risk, always look for a surgeon with a considerable amount of experience and remember that routine follow up with your surgeon is essential to diagnosing and treating complications in a timely fashion. In addition, Dr. Vaimakis believes that patients should notify her immediately if a problem such as fever, abdominal pain or nausea and vomiting occur.

In general the risks associated with Bariatric Surgery depend on the operation you choose.

Complications

  • Vitamin and Supplement Deficiencies
  • Dumping Syndrome
  • Blood Clot
  • Bleeding
  • Leak
  • Stricture
  • Intestinal Blockage
  • Ulcer
  • Death

Please speak with your surgeon to further discuss these risks and how they may affect you.

Side Effects

  • Dumping Syndrome

    This occurs when food high in sugar or carbohydrates moves too quickly into the small intestine. It can cause nausea, sweating, palpitations, diarrhea and weakness. The good news is most patients avoid these foods at all cost!

  • Vitamin and Supplement Deficiencies

    Since a portion of the small intestine is bypassed this is also the area where certain vitamins and supplements are absorbed such as calcium, vitamin B12 and iron. These supplements need to be taken for the rest of the patient's life in order to assure adequate amounts. Levels will be routinely checked in the office to ensure compliance. Failure to maintain adequate levels can have serious consequences including but not limited to neurologic impairment.

Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAP-BAND) Risks


Complications

  • Slippage
  • Erosion
  • Stoma Obstruction
  • Gastric Pouch Dilatation
  • Access Port Problems
  • Band Removal Due to: Complications, Intolerance or Inadequate Weight Loss
  • Infection

Please speak with your surgeon to further discuss these risks and how they may affect you.

Gastric Bypass and Gastric Banding Risks


Hair Thinning

Hair loss can be very alarming but keep in mind it is only temporary and will not lead to baldness. The mechanism is not well understood but relates to hormonal changes as well as protein intake and adequate vitamin and supplement levels. Along with ensuring enough protein in your diet, there are several additional over the counter vitamins and supplements that can be helpful in reversing the process.

Nausea and Vomiting

Most patients at one point or another will experience nausea or vomiting as they relearn the eating process. There are several helpful tips you must remember in order to avoid this. You must ensure that you are chewing your food enough. It should take you ½ hour to eat your food. You must not be drinking liquids at the same time as you are eating. Some foods may not agree with you and you may feel as though they are "stuck." With time and practice, this can be avoided.