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Health Risks of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery

Post-operative complications of roux-en-y stomach bypass
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Risks and Complications of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Bariatric stomach bypass surgeries are serious procedures with surgical and anesthesia risks that are common to all types of serious operations. In addition, after undergoing a roux-en-y stomach bypass, patients may experience certain specific complications, as follows.

Risk of Dumping Syndrome

The occurs when food in the stomach pouch is digested too quickly (eg. sugar, or highly refined foods) and passes too rapidly into the small intestine. It can also be caused by over-large amounts of food. Dumping syndrome is not a health risk per se, but typical symptoms (nausea, feeling faint, sweating and diarrhea) can be very distressful for patients.

Risk of Stomach-Staple Failure

As in all bariatric procedures involving transection of the stomach using a line of staples, roux-en-y bypass carries a risk of staple-line failure. Associated complications include leaks from staple breakdown, stomal stenosis and marginal ulcers.

Risk of Nutritional Deficiencies

Roux-en-y gastric bypass results in ingested food bypassing the main digestive tract, including the duodenum and a variable length of proximal jejunum. Thus bypass patients have an added risk of developing iron deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin D and calcium absorption may also be reduced since the duodenum and jejunum are the preferential sites of absorption. Therefore, after roux-en-y stomach bypass, a life long program of supplementary multivitamins, vitamin B12 iron and calcium is mandatory for all patients.

Bowel Problems

After all malabsorption surgeries, like roux-en-y bypass, there is a period of intestinal adaptation during which bowel movements can be liquid and frequent. This bowel complaint, frequently accompanied by bloating, gas and foul smelling stools may reduce with time, but occasionally is a permanent condition.

Complications After Gastric Bypass Surgery

  • Approximately 10-20 percent of patients require follow-up operations to correct complications.
  • More than one-third of obese patients who have gastric bypass surgery develop gallstones. Some bariatric surgeons prefer to remove the gallbladder during the initial surgery.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 of patients who have weight-loss surgery develop nutritional deficiencies such as anemia, osteoporosis, and metabolic bone disease. These deficiencies can be avoided by adhereing to post-operative nutritional guidelines.
  • Complication rates in the early post-operative period, such as infection, dehiscence, leaks from staple breakdown, stomal stenosis, ulcers and deep thrombo-phlebitis may be as high as ten percent or more. However, the aggregate risk of the most serious complications of gastrointestinal leak and deep venous thrombosis is less than one per cent.

See also:
Roux-en-Y Bypass Explained
Open Surgery Method
Laparascope-Assisted Method
Operation Diagram
Health Complications
After Roux-en-Y Bypass

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Laparoscopic or open bariatric surgery, such as gastric banding or bypass is not an easy solution to morbid obesity and weight loss. It is a serious surgical procedure, involving health risks. To produce lasting weight loss it requires a long-term patient commitment to eating a healthy diet and following a regular program of physical exercise. Life-long use of nutritional supplements may also be necessary. So, before deciding, discuss your options fully with your doctor. © 2003-2017 Bariatric-Surgery.Info - Terms - Contact - Information - Resources