Bariatric surgery leads to complications often

However, one expert says that the report is based on old data and in fact, the procedure has become safer and less invasive, with only a fraction of the complications the report authors found.

In the report, published in the August issue of Medical Care, the authors looked at 2,522 insurance claims for bariatric surgery done in 2001 and 2002, Forbes reports.

Obesity surgery is helping thousands of Americans lose weight and reduce the risk of diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, said Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a unit of the Public Health Service. But she added, "This study shows how important it is for patients to consider the potential complications."

Many of the complications were so serious that patients were readmitted to hospitals or visited emergency rooms within six months.

In the procedure, known as bariatric surgery, doctors reduce the number of calories that a person can consume and absorb. One of the more common techniques restricts the size of the stomach and the length of the intestine, Indianapolis Star reports.