Gastric bypass surgery is a great option for managing weight loss in the long term. Research shows that this procedure has one of the highest success rates and an impressively low complication rate of 5%.
You should, therefore, have a lot of confidence as you commit to the procedure.
However, it’s still important to be fully aware of the possible complications, despite the minimal risks. Let’s look at some of the complications associated with gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery is a common type of weight loss surgery. In this procedure, the stomach is turned into a small gastric pouch. A loop of the small intestine is cut, then brought up and connected to the gastric pouch through a connection known as anastomosis.
The other end of the small intestine loop is connected to the rest of the small intestine through another anastomosis.
With this connection, food is redirected further down the digestive system, bypassing the stomach. Consequently, you eat less and feel fuller faster, controlling weight gain.
Gastric bypass surgery is recommended mostly for individuals satisfying the following conditions:
You must have also tried losing weight through dietary changes and physical exercise with little to no success.
Complications with gastric bypass surgery can be early or late. Early complications include:
Long-term complications from gastric bypass surgery include:
Blockage and twisting are often solved by surgical revision of the procedure.
Nutritional deficiency is caused by a lack of vitamin B12, iron, and vitamin D. It can lead to neuropathy, fatigue, and loss of bone density over time.
Let’s look deeper into some of these complications.
After surgery, you’ll be given treatment to reduce the risk of blood clottings, such as leg stockings and blood-thinning medicine. However, you can still get blood clots.
Blood clots typically occur in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or lower leg (deep vein thrombosis). Symptoms of a blood clot include:
Contact medical emergency services or your doctor immediately if you get the symptoms of a blood clot.
Wounds from gastric bypass surgery can get infected during healing. Signs of an infected wound include:
Ensure you contact your doctor immediately if you suspect you have a wound infection. It’s often treated using antibiotics.
Research shows that anastomotic leaking happens in about 5.6% of gastric bypass surgeries. It is one of the most serious complications resulting from the procedure.
Anastomotic leaking often happens within three days after surgery, but it may take up to several weeks to show up. Its symptoms include:
The risk of anastomotic leaking increases with obesity. Males and individuals with a history of abdominal surgery are also at a higher risk.
Anastomotic leaking is typically treated in the following ways:
The stomach or small intestine may narrow or block after gastric bypass surgery. It happens due to the surgery’s side effects, such as reduced blood flow and scarring.
A blocked gut can cause complications such as a kinked or twisted gut and food getting stuck. This causes the following symptoms:
You should contact emergency services or a doctor as soon as possible once you get these symptoms.
Committing to gastric bypass surgery is one of the best decisions you can make regarding your weight management. However, ensure you’ve consulted a professional bariatric surgeon first to fully understand the perks and complications of the surgery before committing.
Find out if you are eligible for Bariatric Surgery