Risks of Not Having Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery has a very high success rate among patients who get it performed. There are a variety of procedures within the category of weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery. Some of the most common procedures include a gastric bypass, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and lap band surgery. Many new procedures are minimally invasive, using a laparoscopic method for shorter recovery times. By choosing not to have the surgery, there are some risks you should be aware of as someone who is in the obese category.

Related: Weight Loss Surgery Complications & Risks

Type 2 Diabetes

This is the type of diabetes that is often the cause of lifestyle habits, such as being overweight or obese. With type 2 diabetes, you have a blood sugar level that is too high, causing insulin I your body to not be used properly. This can have a lot of risks, such as stroke, early death, blindness, kidney disease, or other medical problems.

High Blood Pressure

If you remain overweight without getting surgery, you also risk high blood pressure, if you don’t have it already. Blood pressure causes pressure against your arteries , allowing blood to pump in and out of your heart. If the pressure is too high, this can be damaging to your body and cardiovascular health.

Heart Disease

This is one of the more serious effects of not losing weight, whether through bariatric surgery or otherwise. Coronary heart disease (CHD) occurs when a substance called plaque is built up inside your coronary arteries. This reduces how much blood can flow to your heart, causing possible chest pain or heart attack.


Among the serious side effects of obesity and not getting weight loss surgery, stroke is one of the biggest ones to be aware of. In a stroke, the plaque in your arteries causes rupture in that artery, where a blood clot forms. This can lead to your brain and block the flow of oxygen, causing a stroke.

High Cholesterol

Everyone has good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL) in their body. It is important to have more good cholesterol than bad cholesterol. Unfortunately, if you are obese and fail to get surgery to help you lose weight, you have abnormal levels of these blood fats, usually resulting in too much LDL and too little HDL. This causes other complications, such as leading to coronary heart disease.

Sleep Apnea

Anyone can get sleep apnea, where you have pauses in your breathing while you sleep, but the risk is higher among those who are obese. If you don’t get weight loss surgery, your risk for sleep apnea and the complications from the condition, increase exponentially.


Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis affecting the joints of the knees and hips, as well as the lower back. If you are in the obese category, you have more wear and pressure on your joints, which can cause severe pain when combined with osteoarthritis.

Reproductive Issues

Infertility, where you cannot conceive a child in 12 cycles or more, is also a disease you may suffer from when obese. Both men and women can experience reproductive problems if you are obese. Many of these issues are hormonal and can be corrected after losing weight from weight loss surgery.

As you can see, there are many different medical conditions that are either caused by obesity, or can be worsened because of being obese. Weight loss surgery also has its risks, but many of them are in no way compared to continuing in your life as someone who is severely obese. Speak to your doctor about the possibility of getting weight loss surgery.

Risks of Not Having Weight Loss Surgery
Scroll to top