Side Effects From Bariatric Surgery


People who are unable to lose weight through modifications of diet and exercise may consider bariatric (weight loss) surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most commonly performed type of bariatric surgery in the United States is gastric bypass. Bariatric surgery is a major operation that can cause significant side effects, including vitamin deficiencies, blood clots and infections that may be life-threatening.

Vitamin Deficiency

  • Due to the drastic reduction in the size of the stomach, deficiencies in vitamin B-12, vitamin D and iron may occur.

Hair Loss

  • Hair loss is a side effect of bariatric surgery caused by decreases in the amount of protein consumption.

Lactose Intolerance

  • After bariatric surgery, the stomach may not be able to make the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest dairy products.

Dumping Syndrome

  • Dumping syndrome is a side effect of bariatric surgery caused by the stomach emptying too quickly, and causes symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

Incision Problems

  • According to the Mayo Clinic, the staples that close the incision may leak or break, and cause infections or hernia.

Blood Clots

  • Blood clots in the legs are a life-threatening side effect of bariatric surgery, and are more likely to occur in severely obese patients.

Kidney Stones

  • Kidney stones and gallstones are side effects of bariatric surgery that may cause intense pain and serious infections if not treated.

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