Risks of surgery

For all of our operations, there are the risks of the operation itself and the risks of the general anaesthetic. Modern anaesthetics are very safe but we arrange a thorough preoperative assessment where any potential risk factors are identified. Other specialists can be called in for opinions if required, and the consultant anaesthetists will meet you to discuss your anaesthetic beforehand. The hospital operating and anaesthetic facilities are state-of-the-art and all precautions are taken to reduce the risks. 

Bleeding or leakage from a staple line or intestinal join may occur within the first 48 hours of surgery. One of the reasons for keeping you in hospital is to watch for these. Damage to your stomach, intestines or liver is possible during the operation and bleeding or perforation of the stomach or bowels may be the result. These problems are very rare but if they occur they are generally diagnosed and treated promptly. This may require a return to the operating theatre.

The other main risk of surgery is blood clots in the leg veins (Deep Vein Thrombosis). This can happen to anyone but obesity is a risk factor. Every attempt is made to prevent this including by using injections to thin the blood, special stockings and calf pumps during the procedure. Getting you up out of bed and moving as quickly as possible after the operation is also important to keep the blood circulating.

A detailed discussion of the particular risks and complications of your operation will be undertaken with your surgeon.

Long term complications

  • Gastric bands may slip out of position or erode through the stomach wall
    Once diagnosed the band may often be repositioned but sometimes requires complete removal

  • Bowel obstruction
    This is a rare problem that may occur after a gastric bypass. Because of the rearrangement of the intestines within the abdomen, the small intestine may kink and obstruct

  • Stomach dilatation
    Regardless of the operation done, if you regularly overeat the small stomach remnant will stretch. This may lead to eating more and weight regain. Careful eating behaviour can prevent this

  • Vitamin and other nutrient deficiencies
    These are unusual but as you will be eating less, we recommend that you take a multivitamin supplement every day to prevent any future problems