Bariatric surgery (also known as surgical weight loss) has become a routine, common procedure for patients seeking a long-term solution for weight loss. However, these procedures can produce significant short and long-term health issues from complications. These complications include leaks, internal hernias, gastric ulcers, strictures, bowel obstructions, pulmonary emboli, postoperative bleeding, and malabsorptive complications, such as vitamin and nutrient deficiencies.
Duodenal switch is the most successful bariatric procedure for long term weight loss; however, mortality is nearly 1 percent, and the complication rate is nearly 5 percent. Although not common, these complications can be devastating.
Laparoscopic banding and sleeves are less invasive, but the failure rate for producing the goal of weight loss is 20 to 50 percent or higher.
What options do patients have who have failed bariatric surgery? The solution is supportive, compassionate medically managed and supervised lifestyle modifications through diet and exercise.