Fortunately, improvements in technique and technology have made significant complications of bariatric surgery exceedingly rare. In fact, today, the risk of death due to bariatric surgery is about the same as a simple gallbladder removal or cholecystectomy. In other words, bariatric surgery today is more effective and safer than during any time in its history. That is not to say, however, that it is not without risk; and this risk is highest in the few weeks after the surgical procedure.
Following are a few typical signs of complications after your procedure. Of course, if you believe you’re having a medical emergency, do not call our office, head directly to the emergency room, or call 9-1-1.
- Our bodies increase their temperatures to fight off viral and bacterial infections. As such, if you experience a sustained fever of 100.4 or higher, it is important that you call our office. There are several possible reasons for this, but you should be evaluated to ensure it is not an infection. Taking NSAIDs like Advil or Tylenol, will cause your fever to temporarily go down. This does not mean that your fever has gone away, it’s just temporarily suppressed.
- If you see yellow pus discharging from your wounds, or there is a foul smell emanating from the wound, please call us immediately, as this is a likely sign of infection. Your wounds will discharge some reddish yellow fluid within the first few days after surgery and this is perfectly normal. However, if you see this worsening, or if you start smelling odors from the wounds, this is not normal.
- If pain and redness increase over the first several days around your wound, or if you begin to see red streaks coming from the wound, this is a clear sign of infection that needs to be addressed by us at the office. Similarly, if your wounds are not healing appropriately, and if you are not getting better day by day, there may be a complication.
- You should also call our office if you feel lumps, redness or pain in your legs or arms after surgery. Major surgery does increase your risk of a blood clot, known as deep vein thrombosis. These are very treatable and should not be ignored.
While complications can occur, serious complications are very rare. Most of the above complications can be treated very easily. Importantly, it is critical that you call us anytime you feel something strange or out of the ordinary, as we can help put your mind at ease with a checkup.
In the meantime, your diet will be progressing, and clicking on the next page is a great way to understand how your diet progresses from clear liquids to normal over the next six weeks.