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Safety of weight loss surgeries

Is weight loss surgery safe?
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Doctor Answers (1) on Safety of weight loss surgeries

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Ms. Swati Kapoor Bangalore | Dietitian/Nutritionist
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Hi. Before I talk about weight loss surgeries in particular, I would like you to understand that all surgeries have risks and no surgery is absolutely safe. The human body is like a perfectly packed structure that works very efficiently and any manipulation or interference to it through a surgery will cause disharmony and may lead to mild problems. So, shouldn’t that mean no surgery can ever be done? Surgeries are only done when the benefits to the patient are more than the risks associated with it. If you are overweight and have tried repeatedly to lose weight by exercise and diet regimens, but haven’t been successful or have a significant illness caused due to the excess weight that affects your life, then the benefits the weight loss surgery would outweigh the risks and the surgical procedure can be considered. The common problems with weight loss surgeries are bleeding, infection or inadequate surgery that results in ineffective weight loss. This can be minimized if you are operated on by an experienced surgeon. Specific complications to weight loss surgeries include malabsorption of nutrients. This means that certain procedures will require you to take lifelong dietary supplements. There are a significant number of post-surgery patients who develop stones in their gall bladder. Also, weight loss surgeries make food pass through a small passage quickly, which in a few patients results in what is known as “Dumping syndrome”. This makes you feel nauseous, sweaty and cause diarrhea after you eat food. The risks associated with the surgeries, if precipitated can be managed effectively. There are different types of weight loss surgeries which have their own pros and cons which add to the list of possible risks. In summary, the safety of weight loss surgery is mostly dependent on the type of surgery chosen, the expertise of the surgeon and the most importantly if the need for the procedure outweighs the risks for a particular patient.
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