What are the Risks, complications, and adverse events?
All surgical procedures have risks. When you decide on a procedure, you should know what the risks are. Discuss with your surgeon in detail about all the risks and complications that might arise before you make a decision.
What are the general risks?
OBESITY SURGERY includes the same risks that come with all major surgeries. There are also added risks in any operation for patients who are seriously overweight. You should know that death is one of the risks. Your age can increase your risk from surgery. So can excess weight. Certain diseases, whether they were caused by obesity or not, can increase your risk from surgery. There are also risks that come with the medications and the methods used in the surgical procedure.
If you have heart disease you could get heart attack or heart arrhythmias. If you have severe obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) you should be on CPAP device before surgery otherwise you may have to be ventilated which is not desirable. You are at higher risk of developing DVT (clot in leg) and even Pulmonary embolisim (clots in lungs) which could be lethal. Of course preventive measures are taken in the form of Heparin (Fractionated) to thin blood, use of calf pumps during operation and early ambulation (making you walk quickly).
Of course, risks are much less with experienced surgeons. Experience of the surgeon is the single most important factor in the outcome of surgery.
Rapid weight loss may lead to symptoms of: Malnutrition & Anaemia,gallstones. It is important you stick to a high protein, low fat and low carbohydrate diet. Anti-inflammatory drugs that may irritate the stomach, such as aspirin and NSAIDs, should be used with caution. Vitamin, iron & calcium supplements may be required.
What are the specific risks/complications of Laparoscopic surgery
• Perforation of the stomach or oesophagus during surgery
• Damage to major blood vessels
• Inability to do the operation Laparoscopically especially if the surgeon is less experienced or the liver of the patient is too big and patient is too fatty.
Lung problems and Thrombosis (blood clots) – DVT/Pulmonary embolism are much less because of less pain and early ambulation. Similarly spleen damage is less common than open.
If any complications occur, you may need to stay in the hospital longer. You may also need to return to the hospital later. A number of less serious complications can also occur. If you have existing problems, such as diabetes, you may have more complications. You also have more risk of complications if you’ve had a surgery before in the same area, because of adhesions.