Gastric bypass surgery is the process of reducing the size of your stomach, dividing it into two parts which is the smaller upper portion and larger bottom part and then connecting a part of the smaller intestine to the upper portion through a small incision. This procedure is commonly done when an individual wants to lose weight in a short period of time or this is an option when one is battling obesity.
Gastric bypass surgery is also prescribed to those who have type two diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea because this procedure has proven to cure and reduce the chances of these diseases or disorders. Though just like all surgical procedures, gastric bypass complications are still to be expected.
Possible complications from gastric bypass surgery
Infections are the most common among gastric bypass complication and in any type of surgery. This can occur when the release of bacteria from the bowel during surgery affects or comes in contact with open incisions. Pneumonia, bladder or kidney infections, and sepsis may also be possible. The usual protocol when an infection occurs is having the patient take in antibiotics, respiratory therapy, and activities that involve encouragement after surgery will reduce the risks of infection.
Multiple blood vessels may be cut during this surgical procedure because of the cutting of the stomach and intestines thus haemorrhage is a risk. Bleeding may occur by either within the abdomen (internal bleeding or intra-abdominal haemorrhage) or into the bowel (gastrointestinal haemorrhage). Transfusions are usually conducted when this complication occurs and re-operations are sometimes necessary.
Hernia is a risk because of the incisions or cuts on the walls of the stomach. Hernia is the abnormal opening within or outside the abdominal area. Internal hernia occurs because of the surgery and re-arrangement of the bowel, thus causing bowel obstruction. Incisional hernia happens due to the improper healing of surgical incisions, the abdominal muscles have the tendency to separate and allowing protrusion of the sac-like membrane which may contain bowel or other abdominal contents.
Anastomotic leakage occurs when anastomosis fails. Anastomosis is the connection done surgically between the stomach and the bowel; the surgeon will attempt to create a water-tight connection between these two parts either with staples or sutures which will actually create a hole in the bowel wall. Then, the surgeon will depend on the healing capacity of the patient’s body to create a seal that around this connection for the surgery to be successful.
If for any reason this seal fails to form, there is a tendency for the fluid from the gastrointestinal track to leak into the sterile environment of the abdominal cavity and will cause infections and abscess formation. This is one of the most complicated gastric bypass complications to occur.
The dumping syndrome is when a patient that has undergone a gastric bypass surgery and consumes sugary foods and the sugar will pass rapidly into the intestine. The body will have the reaction of flooding the intestines to remove or attempt to dilute the sugar stored. The patient may feel that their heart rate will rapidly increase, cold sweat will be felt, and a sensation of butterflies in one’s stomach will be felt.