Weight loss
surgery options

Factors, benefits, and risks to know before you move forward

The wins of weight loss surgery come in many forms. For starters, studies show that surgery can lead to the greatest and most sustained weight loss outcomes compared to non-surgical strategies.1

Beyond the scale, there are successes that can often be the most life-changing ones for patients who undergo weight loss surgery.

The broader benefits of weight loss2 surgery



Sustained weight loss3
Lose your goal weight and keep it off for the long haul.


Improved health2
Alleviate or eliminate obesity-related diseases and boost your mental health.


Enhanced quality of life4,5
Get back to your favorite activities and try new ones.


Minimally invasive option
Most surgical weight loss procedures are minimally invasive – which means only small incisions are made in the abdomen.


Savings on health care costs6
Decrease your healthcare cost which may solve some of your obesity-related health issues.


Solution for Type 2 diabetes7
Keep Type 2 diabetes7 in better control with lower blood sugar levels and less medication. Or potentially reverse it.


What to know about weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery increases your sense of fullness after eating.8 Depending on the type of weight loss surgery you choose, your weight loss is powered by different mechanisms that control appetite, alter hormones that regulate your metabolism, or change how food is absorbed.8 While there are multiple types of weight loss surgery, most use a minimally invasive technique in which only small incisions are made in the abdomen.2

Comparing weight loss surgery types

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Sleeve gastrectomy

What it is: This procedure involves surgery on the stomach but not the intestine. It transforms the stomach from a pouch (pre-surgery) into a long tube or “sleeve” (post-surgery).

How it works: It removes approximately two-thirds of the stomach to deliver a quicker sense of fullness and decreased appetite. The smaller stomach sleeve restricts food intake, allowing only a small amount of food to be consumed in a single sitting.


Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Duodenal switch (DS)

Adjustable gastric banding


Am I eligible for weight loss surgery?

Knowing if you’re the right fit for weight loss surgery depends on many factors.

  • You’re committed to the required lifestyle changes. 
  • Your BMI is ≥40 and you are more than 45kg  overweight. 
  • Your BMI is ≥35 and you have at least one or more obesity-related comorbidities such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and other respiratory disorders, or heart disease. 
  • You’re unable to achieve a healthy weight loss for a sustained period with prior weight loss efforts.
  • Please consult your doctor to see if weight loss surgery is right for you.


Risks of weight loss surgery

As with any surgery, weight loss surgery has risks you should know about.9 Although surgical complications can be infrequent,10 it’s important for you to fully understand them so you can make an informed decision.

Potential side effects9 of weight loss surgery include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Leaking from the site where the sections of the stomach, small intestine, or both are stapled or sewn together
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood clots in the legs that can move to the lungs or heart

Potential complications9 of weight loss surgery include, but are not limited to:

  • Infection, bleeding, or leaking at suture/staple lines
  • Blockage of intestines or stomach pouch
  • Dehydration
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs
  • Vitamin and/or mineral deficiency
  • Protein malnutrition
  • Incisional hernia
  • Irreversibility, or difficulty reversing some procedures
  • Revisional procedure(s) sometimes needed
  • Death

Speak to your physician to find out more about the potential risks and see if surgery is right for you.

Move forward with ease — preparing for weight loss surgery

While weight loss surgery can help to treat obesity effectively, there are no shortcuts to success. There are many things you can do to prepare for weight loss surgery.

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Begin an exercise program before your surgery. The sooner you begin exercising, the easier it will be after surgery.

Diet and nutrition






Courcoulas A, Yanovski S, Bonds D, et al. Long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery: A national institutes of health symposium. JAMA Surg. 2014 Dec; 149(12):1323-1329. 


ASMBS. Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery. ASMBS Website. https://asmbs.org/patients/benefits-of-weight-loss-surgery. Accessed Dec 6, 2021.


Maciejewski M, Arterburn D, Van Scoyoc L, et al. Bariatric surgery and long-term durability of weight loss. JAMA Surg. 2016 Nov 1;151(11):1046-1055.  


Tarride, JE, Breau R, Sharma AM, Hong D, Gmora S, et al. The effect of bariatric surgery on mobility, health related quality of life, healthcare resource utilization, and employment status. Obes Surg. 2017; 27:349–356. DOI 10.1007/s11695-016-2298-6. 


Elder K, Wolfe B. Bariatric Surgery: A Review of Procedures and Outcomes. & Gastroenterology, 2007. vol 132, 2253-2271, https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2007.03.057.


Christou N, Sampalis J, Liberman M, et al. Surgery decreases long-term mortality, morbidity, and health care use in morbidly obese patients. Ann Surg. 2004 Sep;240(3):416-23; discussion 423-4


Batterham R.L., Cummings D.E. Mechanisms of diabetes improvement following bariatric/metabolic surgery, 2016 Diabetes Care, 39 (6), pp. 893-901.


Dimitriadis, G. K., Randeva, M. S., Miras, A. D. Potential Hormone Mechanisms of Bariatric Surgery. 2017. Current obesity reports, 6(3), 253–265.


NIDDK. Weight-loss surgery side effects. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Website. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/bariatric-surgery/side-effects. Last updated Sept. 2020.


Petrick A, Kuhn J, Parker D, Prasad J, Still C, Wood C. Bariatric surgery is safe and effective in Medicare patients regardless of age: an analysis of gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy outcomes. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2019 Oct;15(10):1704-1711.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.