I wouldn't accept "nobody, at least not in the last three years that we can remember" as an answer. But I'm finicky that way :-). If the surgeon who's gonna do his/her work on me can't look me in the eye and tell me with confidence and honesty how many patients he's lost, I'd not proceed with him. Different studies give slightly different mortality rates, but percentages don't really tell the story. It's important to research the surgeon, the anesthesia team, the hospital, etc. to see how things are where YOU will be. There's also a big difference between dying in or as a direct result of the surgery itself, and what happens later on. Those are two different kinds of statistics. It's important to look at your surgeon's long-term postops' records, too.
Every type of WLS is major surgery, regardless of what the TV advertisements say. They all involve general anesthesia, getting into your abdomen, and some time in the hospital, even if that time is less than a day. That means you will get exposed to all the risks involved with anesthesia, potential for infection, etc. Any surgery is a calculated risk. It is absolutely mandatory that people considering any form of WLS understand this.....Yet I often get the feeling from reading here (not from you though) that way too many people sign on the dotted line without really grasping this important fact.
So, I applaud you for considering your choices carefully. The odds favor a good-to-excellent outcome, but there is still risk involved. Only you can decide if your health and life risks, being MO, outweigh the risks involved in surgery and the changes that follow.
I know that the hospital and the doctor's program are both part of the Centers of Excellence program, and I do feel that they are both very very thorough with the presurgery battery of tests and education. They really give you a lot of education prior to making a choice. I did research both the hospital and the doctor and they are correct, they have had no deaths "as a direct result of the rny procedure". They, from what I understand, have had deaths from people that had pre existing medical conditions and they died from those such as heart issues and aneurysm(sp?) that I know of. I know that no one can give me reassurances and I know that everyone is different and no one knows how your body will tolerate this surgery..but reading all of these stories here is scary. You see some who cannot eat food on their own, others in the hosp and no one knows what wrong...and yet, the greater majority seem fine. It just seems like as Miss Leticia puts it, " a box of chocolates..you never know what you'll get". But I was just wondering, how common it is. I am trying to go into this with my eyes as wide open as they can be and I appreciate all of your replies.
Work like you don't need the money......
Amy 293/140 - AT GOAL!
Donna Q. --5'8" -60 years old
hw320 sw276 lw with band 195 gw 160-180?
pre sw 258 lw RNY 162 cw 203
Hi, AnnMarie: Good question. The death rate for gastric bypass is about one quarter of one percent--that's about 1 in 400 patients. The most common cause is a blood clot to the lung and you can ask for a "Greenfield filter" to prevent that if you have a history of them. The risks are higher in some people (men, those over 50 BMI, older, sleep apnea, diabetes, etc). Less experienced surgeons have more complications. Ask you doctor what HIS/HER death rate is and what their complication rate is. Ask them how many surgeries they have performed. Don't accept a vague answer. Ask for numbers.
Everyone of us has had to face this reality before we were wheeled into the operating room. For me the risk of surgery seemed less than the risk of dying from the complications of morbid obesity, including diabetes. Each of us had to decide whether or not to take the leap. A new study found that those who had WLS lived longer than those who didn't. Good luck with your decision.
This is from the American Obesity Association
General Risks of Obesity Surgery