The risks of weight loss surgery

Courtesy CNN

(CNN) – Having weight-loss surgery is a big decision and there can be complications.

For Ron Cothran, obesity has been a life-long struggle, “I had tried several diets, different things of that nature and I finally bloomed up to a little over 350 pounds.”

So, he opted for the “gold standard” in weight loss surgery, the gastric bypass.  The surgery itself went well, but just three hours later, the first problem.

“My heart rate was going up, my blood pressure was going down, my color was changing,” Cothran said.

Surgeons quickly fixed the problem, but Cothran also faced several bouts with “dumping syndrome,” where his body rejected the food and nutrients he was eating.

Dr. Edward Lin, Emory University Center for Bariatrics said, “Dumping syndrome is one of the things people like to talk about. In reality it doesn’t happen that much.

Lin says he also tells patients to be aware of the risks and not just physical, but psychological and financial complications.

“When you lose a lot of weight, those people who were your friends, may no longer be your friends anymore, it is very devastating when you are in the ICU for a while, and you can’t go back to work. Or the economic burden that’s placed on your family,” Dr. Lin continued.

“If I was going to have the same complications over again and knew it, I would go ahead and do it again,” Cothran said.

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