Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Safe?
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Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Safe?

The risks of bypass surgery. are they worth it?

The war on fat  is rampant  in the US. Many people are constantly trying to fight the "battle of the bulge". The weight loss industry is well over a $60 Billion industry. Diet pills, gym memberships, pre-packaged foods delivered to their doors. Americans are willing to try anything to lose weight. In the mid to late 90's, some 14 million prescriptions were written for Phen-Fen, a diet pill, that later was discovered to cause deadly heart problems and was pulled off the market. People unhappy with their weight will even resort to surgery. Now I'm not trying to say that surgery is never the appropriate treatment for the extremely obese,  What I'm trying to convey to you is that you really need to understand the risks of any type of surgery before you go ahead with it.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Gastric bypass is the most frequently performed bariatric surgery in the USA. Close to 175,000 people undergo bypass surgery every year in America.This surgery alters the digestive system resulting in the patient being less able to eat more then a small amount of food. This, of course, leads to weight loss. This,however, does not come without risks such as such as malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies With the inability to consume much food, nutritional deficiencies are almost inevitable. The most common complaint's are abdominal hernias.  Dehydration, Intolerance to certain foods, Gallstones, Kidney stones and bleeding stomach ulcers are also a very real possibility. Many people who have had Gastric bypass also suffer from low blood sugar.  After Gastric bypass surgery, bowel movements may be very liquid and frequent. This may improve somewhat with time, but can become a permanent condition. Dr. Sugerman, who is a retired bariatric surgeon and the president of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS), say's "There is a risk of a leak following gastric bypass that can be fatal." This is where stomach acid or bile leaks from the internal surgical site into the abdominal cavity.

   Many patients who have Gastric bypass experience depression for some time after their surgery. Sometimes this is due to energy levels being very  low because of the restricted food intake. Then of course, as with most surgical procedures, there is the risk of death. In a study of over 1600 subjects aged  35 to 44, 5% of men and nearly 3 % who had Gastric bypass surgery were dead within a year. In older groups the number of deaths within the time frame increased to more then double the amount.  Another recent study by researchers at the University of Washington found that 1 in 50 people die within one month of having gastric bypass surgery, They die of infections , Pulmonary Embolisms, and other complications. This study also showed that men are more likely to die than women. However, the study did find that if a patient survived more than a year after the surgery, the benefits to their long-term health may outweigh the risks of the procedure.

Before you make a decision to have gastric bypass surgery do your research. Know exactly what the risks to you will be. then determine if you are willing to take those risks to be thin. Many times, if you are morbidly obese,You have health risks on both sides of the decision And the choice may be difficult either way.  Remember this is not simply a cosmetic surgery and the decision should be a well informed one. This type of procedure will have many effects on you for the rest of your life.

Sources:

Gastric Bypass Surgery: Everything You Need to Know to Make an Informed Decision    Author: Mary P Mcgowen M.D. with Jo Mgowen Chopra

The Patients Guide to Weight Loss Surgery  Author: April Hochstrasser Ph.D.

I'm Still Hungry  Author: Carnie Wilson

National Institutes of Health Clinical Center

Web MD

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Comments (3)

I often wonder if I should get it done

Just an additional fact to add to your informative article. My husband had this surgery about 10 years ago and he had a lot of problems in the beginning, bleeding and a hernia. However, he weighted 500 lbs when he had the surgery and would surely not have lived this long without it. BUT he has gained back a lot of the weight he lost in that first year and now faces the same weight loss issues he did prior to the surgery. So have 2 other of the people I know who have had this surgery. It's not a magic surgery that solves all your problems. Just like all the other weight loss miracles, this is just a temporary answer althought it lasts longer than most. Thank you for info.

Linda Moore

I had the surgery 2 1/2 years ago,I was 311 lbs and wore a size 3x.....now I'm 160lbs and wears a size 8-10......I've had no complications with my surgery,and I'm very very happy and satisfied,if I had to,I'd do it again......but fortunately,I won't have to.

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