Benefits & Risks
Surgical weight loss is the only proven, reliable and long-term weight loss solution for morbid obesity.
When patients adhere to the necessary post-surgery behaviors, including diet and exercise, weight loss surgery is very successful. Results from surgery directly impact a person’s overall quality of life, as well as resolve many co-existing health problems.
A 2004 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association* cited the following resolution statistics of health-related problems:
- Complete resolution – 76.8 percent
- Resolved or improved – 86 percent
- Improved 70 percent
- Resolved 61.7 percent
- Resolved or improved 78 percent
- Resolved 85.7 percent
Risks for any surgery or anesthesia include:
- Allergic reactions to medicines
- Blood clots in the legs that may travel to your lungs
- Blood loss
- Breathing problems
- Heart attack or stroke during or after surgery
- Infection, including in the cut, lungs (pneumonia), bladder, or kidney
The overall mortality rate for bariatric surgery is less than one percent (0.5%). There are a number of risks for any weight loss surgery; however with proper medical care and post-surgery commitment, typically the risk of doing nothing outweighs those of weight loss surgery.
Weight-loss surgery candidates must meet the following criteria for surgery:
- Have a body mass index of 40 or more OR
- Have a body mass index greater than 35 with significant medical problems
At least 12 years or older (will be determined on an individual basis)
- Have not undergone any previous bariatric surgery
The path to surgery typically spans a two- to four-month period AFTER your first clinic visit. Each individual is carefully evaluated for any related medical conditions. This often requires special studies and occasionally consultations from accredited medical specialists. We must be completely satisfied that weight loss surgery is right for you and that both you and the bariatric team are fully aware of associated risks before we will schedule the surgery. Watch our educational seminar here.
If you are interested in finding out more about obesity, treatments for severe and morbid obesity and the outcomes of surgical treatment, please watch our online seminar. All potential bariatric surgery patients must complete this seminar prior to their first consultation with a UF Health bariatric surgeon.