After consulting a surgeon, many people decide that the benefits of having bariatric surgery far outweigh the potential risks. However, it’s still important to take steps to minimize the risk of complications such as blood clots. You can be a proactive patient by asking your surgeon about all of the risks associated with your particular bariatric procedure and what you should do to protect your health.
Understanding Blood Clots
Blood has the ability to clot because this essential function stops bleeding from lacerations and other wounds. But sometimes blood clots form within the blood vessels. These can be dangerous because they may travel to the heart, lungs, or brain, potentially causing life-threatening problems. Patients who are undergoing any type of surgery are at an increased risk of blood clots because they are typically inactive during the recovery period. Blood clots are a particular concern for patients having gastric surgery because obesity and morbid obesity increases the risk further. Smoking, having a personal history of blood clots, and using hormonal birth control can also increase the risk.
Responsible bariatric surgeons require that their patients quit smoking weeks before having the surgery. Smoking not only increases the risk of life-threatening blood clots; it also heightens the risk of complications during the surgery such as adverse reactions to the anesthesia, pneumonia, and infection. Plus, smoking inhibits the post-surgical healing process. If you currently smoke and you’re having problems quitting, consider talking to your doctor about effective smoking cessation methods. There are medications available to help you quit, along with nicotine replacement products, counseling, and support groups. If you prefer a less conventional method, you might consider trying hypnosis.
You won’t be running marathons right after your surgery, but it’s important to get up and move around as much as possible. Your care team will help you get out of the hospital bed and gently engage your muscles to support your healthy circulation. While in bed, keep your legs elevated.
Bariatric Care Centers provides extensive pre-and postoperative patient support services to promote optimal outcomes. If you’re sorting through your weight loss surgery options and live near Houston, call us today at 713-339-1353. After your procedure, you’ll go through a thorough follow-up program.
Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles and videos. Every patient has individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.