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Is Bariatric Surgery Safe?

A doctor explaining a medical procedure to a patient while holding a computer tablet

When considering bariatric surgery, or any surgical procedure, it is normal to have concerns about safety.

Here we examine the benefits and risks of weight-loss surgery to help you decide if it is right for you.

Risks of Bariatric Surgery

When compared to the risks of living with obesity — including complications related to diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension, and the increased likelihood of premature death — the risks of bariatric surgery are minimal.

Some potential risks of bariatric surgery include dumping syndrome, developing kidney stones, not losing the desired amount of weight or weight regain.

However, most patients who undergo bariatric surgery and make a commitment to sustained weight loss see a significant improvement in their overall health. Achieving a healthier weight can help eliminate sleep apnea, reverse type 2 diabetes, and improve high blood pressure, which can lead to a longer, healthier life. You can learn more about the benefits of bariatric surgery, here.

Bariatric Surgery Among the Safest Surgical Procedures

While any surgical procedure has risks, bariatric surgery has been found to be one of the safest surgeries to undergo. It is considered as safe or more safe when compared to other elective surgeries.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy and roux-en-y gastric bypass procedures use a laparoscopic approach to reduce the risks of complications.

Laparoscopic surgery uses a thin tube — called a laparoscope — that’s inserted into your abdomen through the smallest possible incision. The minimally invasive technique uses small cameras and thin tools, and the approach has been shown to cut down on your recovery time, reduce your hospital stay, limit scarring and decrease post-operative pain.

Our bariatric surgeons also perform the highest volume of weight-loss surgeries in Philadelphia. And volume matters. Experienced surgeons are associated with improved outcomes and a reduced likelihood for surgical complications.

Talk with the Bariatrics Team

It is always important to discuss any concerns with the bariatric team before deciding whether bariatric surgery is right for you.

We are available every step of the way to support and guide you along your weight-loss journey. Communication lines are always open, including during office visits, check-in phone calls, ongoing support groups, and through the online portal. We’re here to answer any questions you may have about the process and what you can do to help minimize the risk of complications.

Take the first step toward a healthier you. Learn more about metabolic and bariatric surgery at Penn Medicine at one of our free information sessions.

About this Blog

Learn about bariatric surgery and get the support you need to continue on your weight-loss journey. We offer workouts, recipes and tips from Bariatric Surgery program team members, and stories from patients like you.

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