Q. Considering my age and medical conditions, is there a risk in gastric bypass surgery?

Answered by
Dr. Sukhdev Garg
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 14, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jan 12, 2021

Hi doctor,

I am advised to have a gastric bypass. I am worried about the anesthesia and surgical risk because I am a 79 year old married male. I am obese with 265 lbs weight and 5'11" height. I am a diabetic, but it is under control with insulin. I also have emphysema. I use Spiriva daily and wear a prescribed sleep apnea machine at night. I left the habit of smoking when I was 40. I am on regular medicine for high blood pressure. Presently, I have achalasia and I am considering laparoscopic surgery for it. Also, I am on regular Prednisone 5 mg for arthritis and Allegra for ongoing congestion.



Welcome to

  • Regarding your query, you are definitely having a high risk of postoperative complications after surgery. You cannot eliminate your comorbidities, but can only optimize them.
  • Do not stop any medication on your own as it may cause unnecessary delay in the procedure. Please talk to your anesthetist first, so that he can evaluate the overall status of your health.
  • There are chances that you may require ventilator support in the immediate postoperative period, but do not worry about that. Everything will be fine.

For further doubts consult an anesthesiologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

Considering my age and conditions, do you personally believe the risks are too high for the benefits of gastric bypass surgery? Should I have this surgery or not? With respect to laparoscopic achalasia surgery, are the risks of postoperative complications differ between anesthesia delivered through intravenous and a breathing mask?



Welcome back to

  • Yes, I must say that there are too many risks involved. Obesity and respiratory illness increases the risk several fold, especially with laparoscopic surgeries. You must ask for other feasible option available.
  • Your perception about anesthesia technique is not adequate. Anesthesia with mask is only for very short procedures. In most of the surgeries, we start with intravenous drugs. Once the patient is asleep, we intubate the patient and deliver inhalational anesthetic agents through an endotracheal tube.
  • Laparoscopic surgery is a specialized technique of surgery and there is no difference in technique of providing anesthesia in laparoscopic or open surgeries.
  • So, I am saying again that you must meet your anesthetist personally because he is the one who can actually evaluate your current health status.
  • One thing I want to add is that we are not only treating the illness, but the overall improvement and quality of life should be our goal. Take care.

For further doubts consult an anesthesiologist online -->

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