Almost all types of surgical procedure may cause some side effects, and a gastric bypass is certainly no exception. The magnitude of gastrointestinal operation should never be underestimated. This a serious form of surgery, complicated by the fact that it is typically performed on overweight and unhealthy people.
The worst possible side effect of a bypass operation is sadly death. Although relatively rare, a number of patients have died either on the operating table, or soon after.
Further possible serious complications include infections, blood clots, gallbladder stones, hernias, and bleeding stomach ulcers. Once again, the probability of experiencing such conditions is low. But bear in mind, some patients will be more prone to serious side effects than others. In general, the better your overall health, and the less clinically obese you are, the less chance you have of falling victim to one of these potentially life threatening complications.
Gastrointestinal bypass patients are far more likely to experience one of a number of less serious side effects. The most common of which are as follows:
Nutritional deficiency - one of the unfortunate consequences of a gastric bypass is that essential nutrients are not absorbed properly. Vitamin, mineral and nutrient deficiencies can develop over time, which can lead to serious health issues if left untreated. This is why it's important to have regular blood tests to measure your body's nutritional balance.
This poor absorption of nutrients can lead to significant hair loss, as your body fails to obtain the proteins and minerals it needs for hair growth.
Dumping syndrome - unless a strict gastric bypass diet is followed, patients are likely to experience what is know as dumping syndrome. This is where foods bypass the stomach too quickly and enter the small intestine largely undigested. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and abdominal pain.
Constipation and diarrhea - the alteration of your stomach and digestive stomach will sometimes lead to bowel problems. Many gastrointestinal bypass patients struggle to maintain a normal bowel balance. They will often struggle to pass stools, and yet on other occasions they will experience bouts of considerable diarrhea.
Flatulence - the development of a flatulence problem may seem rather comical but it can be very distressing. After gastrointestinal surgery, the colon can struggle to digest food, which invariably leads to an excess of gas. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to control this embarrassing issue. Talk to your doctor or surgeon to find out more.
Common Bariatrics Questions
Where can I have a gastrointestinal bypass operation in the UK?
How much pain will I experience during or after a stomach banding procedure?