Weight Loss Surgeries Are Not For Everyone

Weight-loss surgeries seem to be gaining in popularity. Many see them as an easy way out. You have the surgery. You lose weight. You go off into the sunset. Unfortunately it’s not that simple.


After food is swallowed, it is broken down by acids in the stomach. Then the nutrients from the food are absorbed in the small intestines. Weight-loss surgeries work on these two aspects of food processing. These surgeries either alter the stomach, the small intestines or both.

Surgery Types

  • Restrictive surgeries use staples or bands to decrease the size of the stomach. This restricts the amount of food the stomach can hold. It works because you can only eat as much as your stomach can hold.
  • Malabsorptive surgeries completely bypass parts of the small intestines, decreasing the amount of small intestines involved in the digestion process. It works because there is less small intestines available to absorb nutrients and calories.
  • One type of surgery forces you to eat less and the other forces you to absorb less.



These surgeries will typically result in significant weight loss, especially during the first two years post-operation. However, these surgeries are not risk free. There are potential side-effects and complications associated with them.

Potential side effects include: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, stomach discomfort, heart burn, weakness, sweating, faintness, diarrhea, dairy intolerance, headache, hair-loss and depression.

Potential complications include: leaking of stomach fluids, band/staple line breakdown, infection and nutritional deficiencies. Some complications require a second surgery for repair.

Not for Everyone

These surgeries are only meant for people who have a BMI greater than 35, who have also failed to lose weight using safer methods. Their potential rewards from weight-loss are greater than the potential risks associated with the surgery. Please do not gain weight on purpose so you can have the surgery because these surgeries are not risk-free.

Dr. Kalvin Chinyere is a weight-loss expert and ex-fat man. He is also the creator of the Don’t Go Broke Weight Loss Plan and the main contributor at Dr. Kal’s Blog.

About the Author

Dr. Kalvin Chinyere is a physician, weight-loss expert and ex-fat man. He is also the creator of the Don’t Go Broke Weight Loss Plan and the main contributor at Dr. Kal’s Blog.

Community Thoughts (9)

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  1. KennyNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t believe that surgery is necessary. If you eat right and exercise, then you will lose weight. How long and difficult it will be is a different story. I was never at the point where i couldn’t move, so I really cant speak for those that are immobile. Anyone that can move, CAN lose the weight without surgery.


    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      “How long and difficult it will be is a different story.” That is very true, some people find it easier to accomplish this than others.

  2. zahia LahouasniaNo Gravatar says:

    I have a relative who 32 and he is considerably overwright and he has tried all methods to loose weight but without much success. He endoctronal problem which means he can’t control his intake of food. He has a learning disabilty and lives in a third world country which means his chances are very limited as to what he can or can’t do except from diet which never worked and furthermore he can’t afford any advanced surgery in the West. His weight has made him very depressed and makes him very vulnerable as he gets picked on not only because he has the learning disabilty, but also because he is overweight. When he was a child he was very cuite but now he doesn’t think so.
    Can anyone help ….please. He brakes my heart every time I speak to him.
    Thank you so much

  3. Steve KirkNo Gravatar says:

    Weight loss surgery should be a LAST RESORT intervention to help reduce life-threatening complications related to obesity. I know. Weight loss surgery both saved and nearly cost me my life. I had roux-n-y bypass surgery at 52 and 360 lbs after a heart attack. The day after the surgery, I had another heart attack and 10 days later suffered both respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest in the space of less than 2 hours necessitating electro shock and emergency tracheotomy. I then spent 20 more days in the hospital on a vent. Once out of the hospital, I did fairly well until 6 months later when I had yet another heart attack. This time, I had quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery. I could not have had the surgery, according to my doctor, if I had been my original weight (I was down to 260). Since then, I have maintained at 200, no longer require insulin for my diabetes, have a near normal blood pressure, exercise and can buy my clothes off the rack at a “normal” store. I am able to do things again that I had given up such as fishing and camping. Yes, there are dietary tradeoffs. I have become largely lactose intolerant, so ice cream is out. Heavy sweets are a definite no-no, oh darn. Donuts, heavy fat and sugar, fuh-ged-aboud-it. I eat much smaller meals and must take dietary supplements and vitamins to cope with a drastically changed body chemistry, but all-in-all, it has been worth it.

    Steve Kirk blogs on aging and senior health at

  4. DaveNo Gravatar says:

    Often the patient must lose significant weight loss prior to surgery as well.

  5. Sean RNNo Gravatar says:

    In my humble opinion… this type of surgery should only be a last and only option for people’s who life is threatened by their weight.. literally!
    Otherwise it’s just a quick fix… or should I say the silver bullet for those not willing to put forth the effort and time it will and does take to properly and safely lose weight.


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