Gastric bypass risks and complications
Gastric bypass risks and complications

Gastric bypass risks and complications

26 May 19 Articles Health topics Laparoscopic topics

If you are overweight and considering gastric bypass surgery you should be completely informed about the associated risks and complications with this surgery and then decide for undertaking this operation. Generally, the risks and complications of bypass surgery are different for every person because everyone has a unique body structure. On the other hand, the experience of the surgeon has an important role in this issue. An expert bariatric surgeon can manage and control the potential risks during the surgery to somewhat.

Gastric bypass surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is a type of bariatric surgery that helps you to lose weight by reducing your foods intake. During gastric bypass surgery that also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the surgeon divides the stomach into a small upper section and a larger bottom section. Then a small part of the small intestine will be connecting to a small hole in the pouch. Bypass surgery can be performed in two different ways: with open surgery, the surgeon makes a large incision to open the belly. And by the laparoscope, that trocar and a laparoscope are placed in your belly.

Gastric bypass

Gastric bypass surgery causes some potential health risks, including short term and long term complications.

Short term complications

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Anesthesia complications
  • Blood clot

Long term complications

  • Dumping syndrome. When the solid parts of a meal get dumped directly from the stomach into the small intestine without being digested, it called dumping syndrome. It includes two types, early dumping, and late dumping.

Symptoms of early dumping include:

  • Nausea
  • Bloating and abdominal cramps
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Heart palpitations, rapid heartbeat, and sweating

Late dumping symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Sweating and heart palpitations
  • Hunger
  • Tremors and fainting

If a patient experience dumping syndrome following the bypass surgery need to change his/her diet and follow his/her doctor instruction.

Stomal stenosis. When the new opening between the stomach and intestine get tight and narrow after the gastric bypass surgery, stomal stenosis will occur. It can cause vomiting after eating and drinking. Stomal stenosis is treatable but needs to be improved immediately. If you experience the above conditions, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Malnutrition. Following gastric bypass surgery, the amount and also the kind of foods that you can eat will limit. Inability to take enough calories, lead to fewer intake minerals and vitamins and consequently malnutrition. Because of related complications with sleeve surgery including nausea and diarrhea, the body will have difficulty to absorb enough calories.

Peritonitis. Stomach leak that is one of the most serious complications of gastric bypass surgery, can cause peritonitis. It is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the smooth membrane that lines the cavity of the abdomen. The signs of peritonitis include:

  • Increasing abdominal pain
  • Hiccups
  • Fever
  • Back pain
  • Restlessness
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Unexplained tachycardia (rapid heart rate)

Gallstones. It is another complication of bypass surgery that is common among all types of weight loss surgery.

Pouch stretching. The stomach gets bigger over time and stretching back to its original size.

Hernias. It is one of the late postoperative complications of the gastric bypass surgery. Hernias may lead to other clinical complications such as a closed loop bowel obstruction with or without strangulation.

Constipation. It is a common condition post-op the gastric bypass surgery due to reduced intake of water. Constipation can be correct by drinking enough water and using fiber products. But you need to ensure that your bowel function problem is not related to your weight loss surgery.

General speaking, gastric bypass surgery is a safe surgery but some patients who undertake this surgery may experience some complications and risks. It is very important that you follow all the given instructions post-op the surgery and attend all the follow-up appointments after your surgery.


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