Gastric bypass complications

Severely obese people face an extreme battle when they decide to lose weight. Often, cutting calories has little affect on their weight, hormone imbalances impact their body’s ability to burn fat cells and exercise is a physical impossibility. Weight loss surgeries such as lap bands, stomach stapling and gastric bypass surgery is here to help.

Severely obese people are those who weigh 100 pounds or more over their ideal weight. Many of severely obese people find themselves unable to walk unassisted, unable to enjoy everyday activities, and in some cases, unable to get out of bed. To these folks, gastric bypass surgery is often considered a miracle cure. While the results of this surgery can be miraculous, there are some things to watch out for.

Benefits of gastric bypass surgery

  • Weight loss. Patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery lose anywhere from 50% to 70% of their excess body weight within the first two years after surgery. This reduces the amount of stress on your organs, bones and joints.
  • Improved cardiovascular health. With less stress on your heart and the ability to become physically active, you could begin to reduce your risk of heart disease and improve the health of your heart.
  • Improved circulation. Less stress on the heart equates to more pumping. More physical activity equals even more heart pumping. This increased output of fresh oxygen and blood cells from your heart can improve your circulation and the health of your limbs. It can also reduce hypertension.

Risks and complications
During surgery (includes perioperative cons)

  • Hemorrhaging during surgery. The more overweight you are, the greater your risk of a hemorrhage just after your gastric bypasses operation. Hemorrhages can happen along the staple line of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Pulmonary embolism. 2%- 4% of morbidly obese gastric bypass patients run the risk of dying from a pulmonary embolism during surgery and perioperatively. A pulmonary embolism is the result of a blood clot that breaks off into the pulmonary artery which blocks the blood flow to your lungs. This can result in your lung tissue dying and, eventually, your lungs to cease.
  • Infections. Immediately following gastric bypass surgery, you run the risk of developing an infection in your incision sites. Abscesses can develop in these wounds or in your abdomen. You can also develop an infection that seeps into your blood (sepsis). Your physician will probably have you on antibiotics pre and post surgery to combat this risk.

Post surgery

  • Chronic protein and nutritional deficiencies. It can be difficult to make sure you take all vitamins prescribed post surgery and to make sure you eat the right foods to guarantee your body receives the nutrition and protein it needs. With such a reduced volume of food intake, you must be careful to make the right food choices each time you eat.
  • Chronic vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Many fat soluble vitamins and every day minerals are difficult for your body to digest post surgery. Be sure to talk to your physician about the right combinations of foods and supplements to get these vitamins and minerals into your system.
  • Hair loss. After surgery, you may experience significant hair loss as your body enters starvation mode. The amount of calories you take in will be significantly decreased, and this makes your body think it is starving. Hair loss is a temporary result as your body gets used to its new caloric intake.

Discuss each of these risks and complications, as well as any others, with your physician prior to surgery.

Last updated on Jun 25th, 2010 and filed under Weight Loss. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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