Benefits & Risks of Bariatric Surgery – What to Expect

As with any surgery, bariatric surgery has both benefits and risks. If you’re not morbidly obese, the risks of bariatric surgery far outweigh the expected health benefits of weight loss.

The team at Weight Institute of New Hampshire will work with you to make sure weight loss surgery is the best option for you.

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

  • Weight loss— Following surgery, most people experience brisk weight loss and continue to do so for approximately 18 to 36 months after the procedure.
  • Improved health — Weight loss surgery may improve many obesity-related health conditions, including Diabetes, High blood pressure, cholesterol and Sleep apnea.
  • Improved mood and quality of life — after surgery, many people report an overall improvement in social and emotional well-being. Most experience more energy and an increase in activity.

Risks of Bariatric Surgery

All surgical procedures carry some risks, and prior to surgery your bariatric surgeon will explain all of the potential risks and complications of your specific procedure, and answer any questions you may have.

The following list is not all-inclusive, but offers some examples of the potential risks of bariatric surgery procedures:

  • Acid reflux
  • Anesthesia-related risks
  • Chronic nausea and vomiting
  • Dilation of esophagus
  • Inability to eat certain foods
  • Infection
  • Obstruction of stomach
  • Weight gain or failure to lose weight

Risks vary by procedure, and your bariatric surgeon will make sure you understand the risks and complications of your specific procedure. You can begin lowering your risks of bariatric surgery by decreasing your Body Mass Index (BMI), increasing exercise and quitting smoking.

Things to Consider about Bariatric Surgery

The decision to undergo bariatric surgery is complex and very personal. If you are considering bariatric surgery, you should consider the following:

  • Benefit versus risk — If you’re not morbidly obese, the risk associated with bariatric surgery outweighs the benefits of weight loss. Learn more
  • Cost and insurance — Many insurance plans will cover bariatric surgery. Check your plan for coverage requirements and out-of-pocket expense. WINH staff will work with you to answer your questions and discuss any financial obligations. Learn more
  • Type of surgery — Your bariatric surgeon will work with you to determine the best procedure and treatment for you. Learn more

What to expect

You will be expected to attend the WINH Lifestyle Program, including a psychological screening prior to scheduling your surgery.

The WINH Lifestyle Program will:

  • Change the Way You Eat — You will meet with a Registered Dietician and receive individualized nutrition education and customized meal planning before and after your surgery.
  • Change the Way You Move — You will meet with an Exercise Specialist to develop an exercise plan tailored to your individual needs and abilities. A structured exercise program is crucial to successful long term weight loss.
  • Change the Way You Think — You will attend WINH for Life classes with specially trained staff to help you develop a new relationship with food and learn strategies for positive lifestyle changes which promote long term success.
  • Support Your Change — Our optional monthly support groups will allow you to meet with others who are going through the same process. Listen and share challenges and successes.