Gastric Bypass FAQ
The gastric bypass is one of the most common weight loss procedures. The following gastric bypass FAQs will help you learn more about this treatment.
You will not be able to eat the same volume of food as you do now. By the end of the first year you should be able to eat a child sized portion of food. This will gradually increase as your weight stabilizes and your tolerance increases.
Due to dietary restrictions it is important to protect against nutritional deficiencies. Following surgery you should have a multivitamin, calcium and iron supplement that will protect against the risks of osteoporosis and anaemia. Occasionally a zinc deficiency may occur and you may be prescribed a further supplement. An anti-acid tablet will help reduce stomach acid and prevent the formation of ulcers. Immediately following surgery, the body is healing, so it is important that you still consume adequate calories and protein to help promote recovery.
- Allergic Reactions: From minor reactions such as rash to sudden overwhelming reactions
- Anaesthetic Complications: Anaesthesia used to put you to sleep for the operation can be associated with variety of complications. The anaesthetist will discuss anaesthetic risks with you
- Bleeding: From minor to massive bleeding that can lead to the need for blood transfusion and/or emergency surgery
- Blood Clots: Also called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolus (PE) that can sometimes cause stroke, heart attack, loss of limb and death
- Infection: Including wound infections, bladder infections, pneumonia and deep abdominal infections
- Leak: After operations bypass the stomach, the new connection can leak stomach acid, bacteria and digestive enzymes causing severe infection and abscess. This can require repeated surgery and intensive care admission
- Narrowing (stricture): Narrowing of the connection between the stomach and the small bowel can occur after the operation. This may require endoscopic dilatation or re-operation
- Dumping Syndrome; Symptoms of the dumping syndrome include cardiovascular problems with weakness, sweating, nausea, diarrhoea and dizziness can occur in some patients after gastric bypass
- Bowel Obstruction: Any operation in the abdomen can leave behind scar tissue that can put the patient at risk for later bowel blockage
- Laparoscopic surgery risks: Laparoscopic surgery uses punctures to enter the abdomen and can lead to injury and bleeding
- Hernia; Cuts in the abdominal wall can lead to hernias after surgery. Hernia(s) can happen internally after surgery due to mobilisation of bowel and can cause bowel obstruction
- Hair loss: Many patients develop hair loss for a short period after surgery. This usually responds to increased levels of vitamins
- Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies: After gastric bypass there is a malabsorption of many vitamins and minerals. Patients must take vitamin and mineral supplements forever to protect themselves from these problems
- Complications of Pregnancy: Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can put the newborn babies of gastric bypass mothers at risk. No pregnancy should occur for the first 12-18 months after surgery. Patients must be certain not to miss any of their vitamins if they decide to go ahead with pregnancy later
- Ulcers: Patients undergoing gastric bypass may develop ulcers at the pouch, the bottom of the stomach or parts of the intestine. Ulcers may require medical or surgical treatment and have complications of chronic pain, bleeding and perforation