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What You Should Know Before Having Weight Loss Surgery

Doctor holding stomach hologram

Each year, nearly a quarter-million Americans undergo some kind of weight loss surgery. In fact, Americans make up more than half of all weight-loss surgical procedures in the world. Given how common these operations are, it’s crucial that patients fully understand the risks before the day of their operation. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few important things you should know before having weight loss surgery.

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

When we say weight loss surgery, we don’t mean a process of surgically removing excess weight. Rather, we mean surgical procedures that restrict or alter your ability to eat food. There are currently three major types of weight loss surgery, each with its own risks and outcomes. Those surgeries are:

  • Gastric Banding
  • Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy

Let's take a closer look at these methods, weighing the pros and cons of each.

Gastric Banding

This procedure is supposed to be the simplest kind of weight loss surgery, primarily because it is reversible. Doctors place a silicone ring around the upper part of your stomach, creating a pouch separate from the rest of your stomach. Again, this makes you feel full faster, making it difficult to overeat. Additionally, the band can be tightened, loosened, or altogether removed as needed.

While gastric banding is reversible, the device itself can be harmful. If the band is improperly placed, it can slip out of position or even erode through the stomach, leading to potentially life-threatening complications.

If you go through with a weight loss surgery and experience complications due to medical negligence, you have options. To learn how you can pursue justice for your injuries, pick up the phone and schedule a free case consultation with our experienced medical malpractice attorneys today.

Gastric Bypass

This surgery restricts the amount of food you can eat by literally bypassing most of your stomach. The tube that leads to the “pouch” of your stomach is replaced with a smaller, man-made stomach which is redirected to the small intestine. Without the full capacity of your normal stomach, you’ll feel full much faster and lose weight at a rapid pace.

That said, gastric bypass comes with a lot of risks. Though it is a common procedure, it requires a great deal of screening before it can be considered.

Because food is diverted from your stomach, nutrient absorption becomes more difficult. Most people who have gastric bypass surgery need to meet with a nutritionist and stick to a strict diet to avoid being malnourished and experiencing the associated side effects.

Likewise, implanting this bypass can be difficult. When doctors fail to install the bypass correctly, it may lead to a variety of complications, including stomach leakage, excessive pain, kidney damage, or even brain damage caused by a thiamine deficiency.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

This weight loss surgery permanently removes 75% of the stomach, turning it from a pouch to a tube. Because the stomach is intact, there’s less risk of problems with nutritional absorption as in a gastric bypass. Additionally, the stomach is so small that sleeve gastrectomy leads to rapid weight loss and may relieve associated conditions such as heartburn, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.

While a sleeve gastrectomy is simpler to perform, it is not without risk. A few of the standout malpractice cases we see include doctors cutting off more of the stomach than is recommended, damage to other organs, post-operative infections, and the life-changing risk of thiamine deficiency.

At Simonson Goodman Platzer PC our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience in medical malpractice law and have a 98% success rate in getting compensation for our clients. Reach out today for a free consultation at