Do Gastric Bypass Patients Usually Die 10-15 Years After Surgery? Is This True?

i read this somewhere and i am considering having surgery, think it was due to problems in nutritional deficiencies. can you help clarify? thanks.

Doctor Answers 6

Decreased mortality with gastric bypass surgery

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Gastric bypass surgery will increase not decrease your life-span.  Morbid obese patients die 12 - 15 years earlier than normal weight persons.  Patient that undergo bariatric surgery decrease their 5 year mortality by up to 89%.  Weight loss surgery is the recommended treatment for patients that suffer from morbid obesity.  it decreases most of the medical problems related to obesity like diabetes and heart disease which results in decreased mortality.

Death rate significantly reduced AFTER Bariatric Surgery

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The answer is absolutely no. The largest study showing death rate after bariatric surgery was done in Sweden and was published a few years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine. They followed approximately 5,000 patients for 10.9 years and they had a 99.9% follow-up rate. Half of the patients had bariatric surgery and the other half were treated with conventional medical therapies for obesity (diet, exercise and behavior modification). The study showed that the patients who had bariatric surgery had a 29% decrease in their death rate over that ten year period. Bariatric surgery is not a detriment to your health whereas obesity is.

Nutritional deficiencies and vitamin deficiencies are usually very easily treated. Most bariatric surgeons will usually check vitamin levels every three months for the first year and yearly after that. If a vitamin deficiency is found, we treat it.

David Buchin, MD
Long Island Bariatric Surgeon

Dying after gastric bypass

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I would recheck where you are getting that information.   It's flat out wrong.  For any individual contemplating weight loss surgery, the chances of dying in 10-15 years are much higher if you don't get a gastric bypass than if you go through with it.  After surgery your life expectancy goes up, as your health drastically improves, as does your quality of life. 

Gastric bypass death

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 I am neither a bariatric surgeon nor a proponent of surgical weight loss, but a ten year mortality following this surgery is not the standard.  Unfortunately, some will never lose weight without the assistance of surgery.  There are nutritional deficiencies associated with this surgery, but they can be amended with supplements.  Sometimes the health benefits such as resolution of diabetes and improvement of osteoarthritis outweigh the risks.

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Life duration of Gastric Bypass patients

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No, this is not true.In fact, patients that have obesity surgery and are able to maintain their weight loss and stay healthy, live longer.

Wiljon W. Beltre, MD
Altamonte Springs Bariatric Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Risk of Gastric Bypass operations

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Regarding: "Do Gastric Bypass Patients Usually Die 10-15 Years After Surgery? Is This True?
i read this somewhere and i am considering having surgery, think it was due to problems in nutritional deficiencies. can you help clarify? thanks."

I agree with Dr. Hess. In answering this question you need to be aware of a sample bias. The people who undergo weight reduction operations and especially the various subset of gastric bypass operations are ALREADY at a high risk of death from Diabetes, Blood pressure and heart disease as well several others. The operations are done to reduce their weight to reduce and remove as many of these factors as possible.

I KNOW from my bariatric surgery colleagues that they employ psychological screenings to make sure they operate on intelligent and motivated patients because strict compliance with doctor's orders, diet and supplements are very important. If patients choose NOT to follow these guidelines they will get into serious trouble BUT the operations are inherently safe and have saved millions of lives.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.