After the operation, patients are supposed to slowly begin eating spoonfuls of solid food, but sometimes they cannot digest certain foods and may experience vomiting, explosive diarrhea, or cramping and faintness (known as "dumping").
Patients have to take vitamin and mineral supplements, because they are prone to deficiencies. Complications from the procedure include chronic malnutrition, osteoporosis, infections and intestinal leaks.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a candidate for WLS should suffer from "clinically severe obesity," with a body mass index (BMI) of 40, or higher. BMI measures the weight to height ratio, and is used by doctors to calculate obesity.
Parker had a BMI of 37 when she got the operation, but it is unclear if that is why she had complications.
Livingston worries that as the procedure becomes more popular and people see it as more of a diet aid, such complications will rise.