As with any surgical procedure, complications may occur and should be discussed thoroughly with your physician before making any decisions. Possible complications include, but are not limited to: infection, blood clots, pneumonia, bleeding ulcer, peritonitis, in which the stomach leaks into the abdominal cavity or the intestine, hernia, and gallstones.
With malabsorptive procedures, there is an increased risk of anemia and loss of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K). Adequate amounts of iron, calcium, and vitamin B12 also may not be absorbed, which can lead to metabolic bone disease and osteoporosis. Other side effects can include vomiting, nausea, sweating, fainting, weakness and diarrhea, all of which can be treated easily if reported to your physician.
There may be other complications which can occur depending on your specific medical condition. Again, you should be sure to discuss any concerns with your physician prior to the procedure.
Gastric banding procedures pose fewer risks than gastric bypass procedures, because the surgery is much less extensive, and because the band is adjustable and the process is reversible. On the other hand, because the procedure allows the normal digestive process to continue, weight loss generally is less dramatic. In addition, continuous overeating can-over time-cause the pouch to stretch, so more food can be consumed and absorbed by the digestive system.
Side effects of gastric banding generally are much less severe than with gastric bypass. Eating more than the stomach pouch can hold may result in nausea and vomiting, but this can be addressed by adjusting the tightness of the band. Because gastric banding does not interfere with food absorption, vitamin deficiencies post-surgery are very rare.