Is Gastric Bypass Safe? Understanding Weight Loss Surgery

In the United States, over 250,000 people have bariatric surgery done. 

If you’re considering it, you may have asked yourself, “Is gastric bypass safe?” Like any surgery, some risks are associated with the procedure. 

Weight loss surgery has been a popular choice for years now, and studies have been done that show the long-term effects. The elderly, adults, and teenagers who are obese often benefit from the immediate weight loss these surgeries provide, and gastric bypass is one of the most popular forms of surgery available.

Is Gastric Bypass Safe?

The short answer is: yes. Compared to any surgery, the risks are relatively minor, and complications are uncommon. 

However, every surgery that you have can cause complications. Risks like infection, surgeon error, and other mishaps can happen. Thankfully the occurrence of these is low. 

The risk of dying after 30 days is only .18%. Having gastric bypass is much safer than remaining obese. Not only do fewer people die from gastric bypass than having gallbladder surgery, they reduce the chance they will face a host of health issues later in life. 

Risks of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Despite the incredible success most patients have with the operation, there are risks to having the procedure done that you should know. These risks are mostly not life-threatening, such as nausea, acid reflux, and hernias. 

Some life-threatening complications can arise, but death is very rare. Internal bleeding and organ damage are potentially fatal conditions that can arise from having the surgery. Bowel obstruction and ulcers are also reported as being possible after having the surgery. 

Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Having gastric bypass surgery is safe on the surface, as is weight loss surgery in general. For some people, it can be the only way they’re able to lose weight. Being obese leads to substantial health risks that are all lowered dramatically by losing weight. 

Losing weight is one benefit of having a gastric bypass. If you’re suffering from weight-related complications such as type 2 diabetes, most patients experience increased quality of life and easier management of the condition. 

If done correctly, bariatric surgeries are incredibly effective. Surgery for weight loss has always been a scary concept to a lot of people, but arming yourself with knowledge can make it seem less frightening. People who have a support structure in place are also more likely to succeed and keep the weight off.

Other Forms of Bariatric Surgery

Weight loss surgery goes far beyond the gastric bypass. If you’re concerned about gastric bypass safety, there are other surgeries that you should consider. Don’t let the question of “is gastric bypass safe?” keep you from exploring other methods. 

Research the topic, and then ask a doctor what might work best for you. Understanding weight loss surgery as a whole could open new doors for you. You may only wish to have a gastric band applied, or perhaps a sleeve gastrectomy. 

Whatever option you choose, know that weight loss surgery is a safe endeavor. For the least amount of risk, make sure that you go to a hospital that has experienced surgeons. You will also want to find a clinic that offers support beyond just the surgical procedure.

Having a team to support you that includes a dietician, endocrinologist, and other professionals helps boost your chance of success. The more support and assistance you have, the better off you’ll be while undertaking this life-changing operation. 

What Is the Goal of Bariatric Surgery?

Losing weight is the number one reason why people have weight loss surgery done. Since the health risks of obesity continue to get worse, the longer you are overweight, you might need surgical help. What some people don’t know is that keeping the weight off is what’s important. 

If you experience rapid weight loss, and then rapid weight gain, you won’t reduce your risk factors for obesity-related diseases and complications.  Keeping the weight off for five years is the marker where you can feel successful in your weight loss. 

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Even with weight loss surgery keeping weight off can be the most difficult part of dieting. When you don’t see dramatic results every month, it can be easy to fall into old routines. Remain vigilant about your weight loss, post-surgery, and you’ll have far more success. 

There are a lot of strategies that work for different people, from having a minor cheat day to just staying on their original diet. Whether you choose to have bariatric surgery or not, remember that losing weight and keeping it off require lifestyle changes as well. 

Finding support to keep you on track is important because all humans are fallible. Even if you have a burning desire to lose weight, you can fall into depression and anxiety if you don’t have people helping you. It’s far easier to gain weight than to lose it, because that’s how our bodies are designed to function.

Bariatric Surgery and You

Remember that the rate of complications arising from bariatric surgery are low. 

In fact, it’s as safe as having knee surgery, and rates of lethal complications are low. Out of the hundreds of thousands of people who have these surgeries every year, there are very few who experience severe side effects. 

Having the proper team of doctors and medical professionals around you will reduce these risks even further. Don’t let the question, “is gastric bypass safe?” stop you from achieving your weight loss goals. The risks of the surgery pale in comparison to the risks of being obese. 

If you need support during what may be the toughest challenge of your life, be open and honest with friends and relatives. Ask them to help provide a support structure and keep you on track. 

Whatever path you choose, remember that you aren’t alone. In the United States, many people struggle to lose weight and keep that weight off. 

Is gastric bypass safe: yes. Is it right for you? That’s something that you and your doctor have to decide. Good luck! 

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