1 in 50 Gastric Bypass Patients Die Within 1 Month, is This True?

This statistic is scary, if it's true, and please explain why. According to one surgeon, he says he has a 1 in 300 death rate, but that's during surgery. 

Doctor Answers 3

Death After Weight Loss Surgery is NOT The Norm

Weight loss surgery has come a long way since it's introduction in the 1960's.  In fact according to a government report released in 2010, weight loss surgery has never been safer!  This is impressive when you consider that weight loss surgery patients can be some of the unhealthiest patients prior to their surgery and is a testament to improvements in surgical technique, instrumentation, and patient care. 

In general, the risk of dying within 30 days after a gastric bypass nationally is in the range of 0.2-0.5%.  When discussing mortality rates, however, there are lots of things that the surgeon will take into consideration.  For example, I recently saw a 58 year old patient who is on dialysis and has had two heart attacks in the past.  Obviously this patient's risk of dying after surgery is higher than 0.2%.  Once you have been evaluated by a weight loss surgeon, they will be able to give you their opinion of what YOUR mortality rate is likely to be.

Keep in mind that the 0.2-0.5% mortality rate I mentioned above is a NATIONAL average so it is important to ask the surgeon you see what is their INDIVIDUAL mortality rate.  If it much higher than the national average then you may want to seek out a second opinion!

Corpus Christi Bariatric Surgeon

Death Rate from Gastric Bypass Surgery

The mortality rate from gastric bypass surgery 10 years ago was approximately 1 in 200. Currently the national mortality from bariatric surgery is approximately 1 in 1000. Our laparoscopic techniques have improved as well as the instruments that we use. There have been multiple studies which have shown that the risks of staying morbidly obese are much greater than the risks of surgery.  I personally have never had anyone die from any bariatric procedure. 

David Buchin, MD
Long Island Bariatric Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Death after Gastric Bypass

That is completely false.  The national mortality rate for gastric bypass is 0.5%.  The risks of staying morbidly obese and dying is much greater than the risk of dying from gastric bypass surgery.


Shawn Garber, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Long Island Bariatric Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.