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Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is performed in obese and morbidly obese people who are not capable of losing extra weight by dietary changes or physical activity. The goal of the surgical procedure is to reduce the size of the stomach. Consequently a patient will feel satiated after eating small portions of food and he/she will lose undesirable pounds easily. This surgery carries certain risks and there are numerous possible complications.

Complications of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Allergic reactions can develop in people who are susceptible to certain medications. The minor allergic reactions include rash while in some patients even anaphylactic shock has been reported. In some people the problem may be connected with the wakening from general anesthesia. The very surgery can put the body under huge stress which can consequently result in stroke, heart attack and so on.

Bleeding is another general complication of this surgery. The bleeding can be minor or life threatening. If the patient loses lots of blood he/ she may require blood transfusions. Obese people are very prone to deep vein thrombosis and this only worsens after gastric bypass surgery. Hypercoagulation can also result in pulmonary embolism, a condition which requires urgent reaction and proper therapy.

All the patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery are prophylactically administered antibiotics. These medications prevent possible infection of the wound or infection of other organs or organ systems. Still in spite of being given antibiotics, some patients can develop infections. Deep abdominal infection can be even life threatening. Sometimes the infection is caused by the leak and the surgeon has to re-operate the patient. Reoperation is also required in case or stricture of the connection between the stomach and small intestines as well as in case of bowel obstruction caused by scars.

Some patients complain about nausea, vomiting and problems with digestion. They may even experience abdominal pain. Dumping syndrome affects certain number of patients and if the symptoms of dumping syndrome are serious the patient needs to be re-operated.

Since the surgery cuts the muscle of the abdomen patients can eventually develop hernia.

Some of the patients complain about the loss of hair. This undesirable side effect occurs 4 months after the surgery. The problem is solved by sufficient intake of proteins and vitamins. Reduced intake of food can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. This is also a reason why people who have undergone gastric bypass surgery must not get pregnant within two years following the surgery. Their babies can be affected by these nutritional deficiencies as well. Apart from that women who have undergone gastric by pass surgery must consider other type of birth control than a pill. The pill is not effective in prevention of pregnancy in these patients.

Majority of patients actually lose a lot of weight in short period of time, but there are even cases when the surgery does not provide with desirable effects.

Additional complications include depression. Some believe that the risk of stomach cancer is higher in people who have undergone gastric bypass surgery. This has not been confirmed yet.

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