Health Issues after Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery can be used as an effective resource in overcoming certain chronic diseases, specifically those diseases which are associated with obesity, such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. In the immediate weeks and even during the initial several months following weight loss surgery, there is a risk for certain complications or side effects. These potential health issues vary depending on the type of weight loss surgery that you’ve had, as well as your body weight at the time of surgery.

As minimally invasive procedures, both the Lap Band surgery and the gastric sleeve surgery have a smaller risk for side effects than other forms of bariatric procedures. However, it is important that during those first couple of months after surgery that you pay close attention to even small changes in your body, and that you follow your weight loss surgeon’s directions in their entirety.

Having awareness about potential health concerns can help you identify potential issues before they become severe.

Understanding Major Health Risks

Health complications after weight loss surgery happen in about 10 percent of all weight loss surgery patients. Many times, when complications or health issues do develop, they are not severe—especially at first.

During the first couple of weeks after surgery, you may experience what bariatric surgeon’s consider short-term health issues. These problems may cause discomfort, but are a natural part of the healing process that should pass within a couple of days or weeks after surgery.

These issues include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Constipation

One of the more common health issues that people do develop after weight loss surgery is fatigue. The recovery process is taxing on the body, and as a result you may feel less energetic than typical. The fatigue should not last more than a couple of weeks. Prolonged fatigue could interfere with your weight loss efforts, especially if it is preventing you from becoming active and meeting your exercise goals. In some situations, fatigue is caused by vitamin deficiency due to the change in your diet post bariatric surgery.

If any of these issues continue for an extended period of time beyond your initial recovery, bring them to the attention of your weight loss surgeon.