Weight loss surgery carries a risk of complications, some of which can be serious.
Before having surgery, speak to your surgeon about the possible benefits and risks of the procedure.
You'll have treatment to reduce your risk of blood clots after surgery, such as special leg stockings or blood-thinning medicine, but they can sometimes still occur.
Symptoms can include:
Contact your GP or NHS 111 as soon as possible if you think you might have a blood clot.
Sometimes the wounds from your surgery can become infected while they're healing.
Signs of a wound infection can include:
Contact your GP or NHS 111 if you think your wound may be infected. They may prescribe a course of antibiotics.
If you have gastric band surgery, there's a small risk that the band could move out of position.
This can cause:
See your GP if you have these symptoms and they don't go away. If your band has moved, you'll need further surgery to put it back in place or remove it.
In the days or weeks after a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, there's a small chance that food could leak out into your tummy.
This can cause a serious infection inside your tummy.
Symptoms of a leak can include:
Call your GP or NHS 111 as soon as possible if you have these symptoms. You may need surgery to repair the leak and antibiotics to treat any infection.
Sometimes the stomach or small intestine can become narrower or blocked after weight loss surgery.
This can have a number of causes, including food getting stuck, scar tissue in your gut and your gut becoming kinked or twisted.
Symptoms of a blockage can include:
Contact your GP or NHS 111 as soon as possible if you have these symptoms. You may need to have a procedure to widen or clear the blockage using a thin, flexible tube passed down your throat (endoscope).
Cutting food into small chunks, chewing thoroughly and not drinking during meals can help reduce the risk of a blockage.
Weight loss surgery can make it harder for your gut to absorb vitamins and minerals from food, so there's a risk you could become malnourished.
This might not always be obvious, but possible symptoms can include:
Having a balanced diet can help reduce the risk of malnutrition, but most people need to take extra nutritional supplements for life after surgery.
You'll have regular blood tests after surgery to measure your vitamin and mineral levels, so any problems can be picked up and treated.
It's common to develop gallstones in the first year or two after weight loss surgery. These are small, hard stones in the gallbladder that can form if you lose weight quickly.
The main symptom of gallstones is episodes of severe tummy pain that come on suddenly and typically last a few minutes to a few hours.
In a few cases, they can also cause:
Contact your GP if you have symptoms of gallstones. You may need an operation to remove your gallbladder.
As you lose weight after surgery, you may be left with excess folds and rolls of skin, particularly around your breasts, tummy, hips and limbs.
Ask your GP if surgery to remove excess skin after weight loss surgery is provided on the NHS where you live.
Weight loss surgery is a major operation and there is a chance of dying during the procedure or as a result of a serious complication afterwards.
But this is very rare. Recent statistics suggest that only around 1 in 1,400 people who have weight loss surgery in the UK die within a month of the operation.