Complications of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is often the last hope for patients who suffer from weight-related complications.  Patients often have a dramatic improvement in their weight and health shortly after surgery.  The decision to undergo surgery, however, should not be taken lightly.  One should first fully understand the risks of gastric bypass surgery.

 

After gastric bypass surgery, you will not be able to eat normally.  When you’re up to it, you will first be on a liquid only diet.  Patients then progress to soft foods and ultimately a regular diet.  However, with your stomach effectively reduced in size, you’ll need to eat very small meals.  In fact, eating too much or too fast in the first six months may cause vomiting or pain.  You will gradually be able to eat more, but you’ll never eat as much as before.  In addition, as your body rapidly loses weight, your body may experience some other changes.  You may experience tiredness, body aches or mood changes.  Patients also report feeling cold, having dry skin, and thinning hair. 

 

As with any other surgery, risks for gastric bypass patients include bleeding and infection.  Risks specifically associated with gastric bypass surgery include:

 

 

  • Dumping syndrome. Dumping syndrome occurs when stomach contents empty too quickly through the small intestine.  It presents as nausea, vomitting, diarrhea, dizziness, and sweating.  It commonly occurs after eating sweets or high fat foods. 
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  • Leaking in the stomach. Patients may experience leaking of stomach fluid.  This usually heals with time and only requires antibiotics.  However, it can be severe enough to require emergency surgery.
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  • Incision hernia. An incision hernia may occur if there is a weakness in the incision.  This usually requires surgical repair.
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  • Narrowing of the stomach exit. This is a rare complication that may require dilation as an outpatient procedure or surgical correction.
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  • Blood clots. Post-surgical patients may get blood clots in the legs.  These blood clots can be dangerous if they travel to the lungs, causing damage and can lead to death.  Walking and using leg wraps, however, can reduce your risk.  Quitting smoking is also recommended.
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  • Death. Death occurs in about one in 300 patients.  Your risk may vary depending on your general health, comorbidities, and age.
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    To learn more about weight loss surgery and its potential compications, visit BestDietMeds.com

    Greg Chan is a health expert and the author of several weight loss articles. For more information, visit BestDietMeds.com

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