Risks And Side Effects Of Gastric Bypass Surgery

A woman standing by a weighing scale and checking her dauly activty on an app in her phone.

Obesity is a big problem, no pun intended. Those who have obesity have a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, arthritis, and osteoporosis.

If you’re one of those who suffer from obesity and have tried everything to lose weight but failed, don’t lose hope yet. There is an effective option for many obese people: bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery is a collective term for different kinds of weight-loss surgeries. This procedure helps you lose weight by modifying how your body processes food. It can also help people with specific health problems such as diabetes or heart disease.

One of the more popular bariatric surgery options for people who have tried diet and exercise but haven’t been able to sustain results is gastric bypass. This particular surgical procedure you is effective and comes with minimal risk. However, do note that they are still risks.

Want to know more about gastric bypass surgery? How does it work and what are the risks, complications, or even side effects that one can expect and experience after the procedure? Wonder no more – read on as we take a closer look at this particular type of bariatric surgery.

What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gastric bypass is a bariatric surgery that is an intensive procedure. It involves reducing the size of the patient’s stomach then rerouting a part of the intestines. The rerouting is important, as it will cause food ingested to skip some portion of the stomach and intestines that take in calories for the body.

This particular surgery is a major one and may require hospitalization. Recovery time will be at least two days.

What Would Be The Result Of A Gastric Bypass Surgery?

The result of this procedure is a stimulation of a low-calorie diet, since the patient will no longer get the full calories of any meal they eat. The patient will also get a much smaller stomach, which means they can manage to comfortably eat smaller meals.

Getting gastric bypass can help you achieve long-term weight loss. Of course, the amount of weight you will lose will also depend on many of your lifestyle changes.

Aside from weight loss, reduction of hunger and a general better quality of life , gastric bypass can also resolve the following conditions (if you are affected by any of these):

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Infertility

What Are Some Side Effects Of Gastric Bypass Surgery?

While gastric bypass surgery has amazing benefits, as mentioned, there are also some risks involved. After all, it is a major surgery. You will risk facing potential short term or long term health risks.

In no particular order, here are some of the following side effects or inconveniences you may experience, whether after surgery or while the procedue is being conducted:

Dumping Syndrome
It is called dumping syndrome because this occurs when food gets “dumped” directly from your stomach pouch into your small intestine without being digested. Early dumping usually occurs 10 to 30 minutes after eating, and late dumping takes place between 1 and 3 hours after eating. If dumping syndrome happens, it will cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
Adverse Reactions To Anesthesia
Before the surgery, you will have to be given anesthesia. If you’re allergic to it, you will most likely experience a reaction to it. And it’s a type of allergy that can’t be solved by mere antihistamine. In fact, it may end up being more severe than most other types of allergic reactions. Examples of symptoms include:

  • rash
  • hives
  • itchy skin
  • swelling of the face or lips, especially around the eyes or lips (angioedema)
  • mild reduction in your blood pressure
  • mild shortness of breath
To prevent accidents like this, you should discuss with your doctor if you have any allergies or anything they may need to know about before the procedure.
Because the narrowing of the connection between the stomach and the small intestine occurs in gastric bypass, you may experience strictures. Strictures are defined as unusual narrowing of a body passage. If strictures happen, you will have a hard time swallowing and eating solid food. You will also experience nausea and vomiting.
Strictures are one of the most common complications after surgery. Don’t worry though, as this is treatable. The doctor will only need routine endoscopy to check what is causting the strictures. From there, the doctor will decide whether to enlarge the stricture, cut it, or surgically remove it.
A hernia is a muscle or tissue tear that makes part of your insides bulge outwardly. You may be able to see the hernia spot, depending on where it’s happening and its size. A hernia happens when an internal organ pushes your muscle or tissue’s weak spot. If left untreated, a hernia will get worse. You need surgery to treat it.
Bleeding is a common complication of any surgery, and gastric bypass surgery is no exception. Bleeding can happen during the surgery or after surgery. If you are bleeding, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Infection is another common complication of any surgery. Again, they may occur during surgery or after surgery. Some signs of infection will be swelling, redness, pain, and discharge from the procedure site. If you notice any of these signs, see your surgeon immediately.
Breathing Problems
Breathing problems are also common complications of any surgery. Some reasons can be swelling of the lungs’ tissues, airway obstruction, or pleural effusion. Any of these conditions can lead to difficulty breathing and most likely would require immediate medical attention.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
GERD is a chronic inflammatory condition of the esophagus, usually associated with acid reflux disease. In some cases, patients may develop complications of this condition, such as ulcers.
Fatigue is a common complication of any surgery and can be caused by stress, infection, or dehydration. If you are experiencing fatigue especially after surgery, don’t delay. Seek immediate medical attention.
Anastomotic Leaking
When a new connection is created in your intestines and stomach during the bypass surgery, it may not fully heal and leak. Leaking digestive juices and partially digested food through an anastomosis is one of the most severe complications after gastric bypass surgery.
Although it is very rare, complications of gastric bypass may result in death.

Get Your Gastric Bypass Surgery With Weight Loss Surgery LA!

If you feel like you are undecided about getting gastric bypass surgery and that you want to know more, feel free to contact us at Weight Loss Surgery LA. We welcome inquiries of all kinds. Whether you just want to discover more about gastric bypass or other kinds of surgery that we offer, or if you want to schedule your initial complimentary consultation, we would love to hear from you.

Rest assured that when it comes to weight loss surgery, our warm and knowledgeable team led by Dr. David Davtyan are the ones you can trust. We will recommend and give only the best treatment possible for you, specifically tailored to what you need.

Talk to us today! We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Posted on behalf of Dr. David G. Davtyan MD, FACS, FICS

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