Gastric Bypass Complications

Dangers of Gastric Bypass Surgery in Detail

It is a fact that Gastric Bypass Complications can occur and if you are considering a gastric weight loss surgery you should know these risks in detail.

Several different complication types are distinguished. The early post-operative complications, possible follow-up procedures and psychological risks that should not be underestimated. And if this is not enough, even longterm complications can occur.

Roux-en-Y surgery is the most common type

The most common type of gastric bypass surgery is the Roux-en-Y, which is performed on obese people. This is where most of a person's stomach is bypassed, and then the surgeon makes a small stomach pouch.

According to WebMD, this type of weight loss surgery makes up approximately 80% of all weight loss surgeries in the United States. In the following we'll take a closer look at the gastric bypass complications especially on the Roux-en-Y surgery.

1. Early post-operative complications during the early post-operative period

* Thrombo-phlebitis - This refers to a blood clot that causes phlebitis in one of the deeper veins. It is also sometimes known as deep venous thrombophlebitis. A person can usually become susceptible to blood clots after surgery because they don't move around as much.

* Dehiscence - This is a surgical complication in which the edges of the surgical cut no longer come together. Dehiscence can either be mild or severe. In these cases, the staples, surgical glue or sutures completely give way, leading to an open incision. This is a surgical emergency.

* Infections - Most of the types of infections that are developed by those having gastric bypass surgery are at the surgical site or the infection may be internal. Sometimes it can take approximately three weeks after your operation for the symptoms of an infection to appear. Such symptoms include pain, swelling or discharge at your incision site or fever and aches.

* Staple Breakdown Leaks - This is a situation when the staples fall apart and then the stomach returns to its pre-operative size. A leak may also occur from any of the staples or "hook-ups. This is a rare but almost always fatal situation.

* Stomal Stenosis - This is where the opening is too tight between the intestinal "hook-up" and the stomach. This can be corrected by the insertion of a lighted tube through a patient's mouth to the area that seems to be tight and stretch it with a balloon.

* Ulcers - An ulcer is likely to develop in a place where the new stomach pouch has been connected to the small intestine. If you have any of these symptoms, you may suspect an ulcer: pain when you eat, bleeding (you could have dark or bloody stools), nausea and vomiting blood. Approximately 2% of patients experience ulcers. If you are a smoker, you have more of a chance of contracting an ulcer.

* "Dumping Syndrome" - When you have gastric bypass surgery done, it is a MUST that you avoid sugar like sugared sodas. Otherwise, you will experience the "dumping syndrome". You may experience flu-like symptoms such as nausea, sweating, faintness, weakness and after eating, you may experience diarrhea. Another symptom often mentionned is vomiting.

2. Follow-up Procedures to Fix Certain Gastric Bypass Complications

* Hernias - Approximately ten to twenty percent of patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery must have follow-up surgeries to correct complications. This author has spoken to many nurses saying they have seen all too many complications from this kind of surgery. The most common complication is abdominal hernia that requires surgical repair.

* Gallstones - Gallstone formation tends to increase with obesity as well as with rapid weight loss such as when a patient undergoes gastric bypass surgery. One report stated that gallstones had developed after six months in 36% of the patients. Reports state that anywhere from three to thirty percent of patients will develop gallstones.

3. Psychological Risks

Gastric bypass surgery has several psychological risk factors. Many suffer from depression in the months following their surgery. Strict limitations of the patient's diet can put a lot of emotional strain on the person.

Some studies have come to the conclusion the gastric bypass surgery patients have an extremely high divorce rate. Few procedures can test a patient's marriage like their gastric bypass surgery. It will be one wild ride for both you and your partner.

4. Longterm Gastric Bypass Complications

* Vitamin B12 Deficiency - When a person undergoes gastric bypass surgery, it changes the way that digestion takes place in the stomach. Since a person may not be able to absorb enough Vitamin B12 after their surgery, this can develop into B12 absorption problems. Many patients need to be put on Vitamin B12 supplementation.

If left untreated, the gastric bypass patient may develop serious problems with their nervous and blood systems. A deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to such psychiatric symptoms as a depressed mood, impaired memory and irritability.

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