There is no way around it, every operation carries some risk and bariatric operations are no different. While bariatric surgery has never been safer, it is important to keep in mind that it is not risk free. While talking about the risk of death or complications after bariatric surgery is scary, one must balance that risk against the risk that comes along with carrying a significant amount of extra weight. In general, for the average patient the risk of dying after a bariatric operation is around 0.2% and the risk of having a complication in the first 30 days after surgery is in the 5-7% range. To put that in perspective for you, this is about the same risk you would take if you had your gallbladder removed (laparoscopic cholecystectomy). Keep in mind that YOUR risk of death or having a complication after surgery may be much higher than average depending on several factors like your age, medical problems, past surgeries, etc. Your surgeon will be able to give you a better idea of what your individual risk is after they have evaluated you.
There are some general risks that are true for almost every operation and then there are some risks that are specific to a band, sleeve, bypass, or duodenal switch