Gastric Bypass Risks
Dealing With Gastric Bypass Risks
The reason for bypass surgery is to make the stomach smaller and cause food to bypass part of the small intestine. When this happens it takes a lot less food to make your stomach feel full. This will help you lose weight for two simple reasons; when you eat less food, you take in less calories, thus weight loss. Second, since your food does not pass through parts of your stomach and intestine which break down and absorb nutrients, much of your calorie intake is not absorbed by the body, once again causing weight loss. However, there some gastric bypass risks involved.
Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most common and widely used operations preformed the world over. This is mainly due to two facts. First, it has a very high success rate, and secondly, there is usually no major complications. Unfortunately, as stated earlier, like any other medical procedure, there are some gastric bypass risks involved, which we will discuss later. Right now let's talk about the gastric bypass in general.
Gastric bypass surgery is done by either making a large incision in your abdomen, which is called open bypass surgery, or by making a number of small incisions and using the laparoscopic approach. The second procedure is more widely used because there are fewer wound complications and less post surgical pain for the patient. However, there are instances when the open procedure must be used. Your surgeon will review your case and advise which technique is best suited for you. By listening to the advice of your surgeon, you can radically reduce the chances of many gastric bypass risks.
In the laparoscopic procedure, the surgeon makes four to six small openings in the abdomen to allow a miniature camera, light and surgical instruments to enter. After this is accomplished, the abdomen is presented with carbon dioxide gas to enlarge the stomach so the surgeon has a better view of its internal structure. The surgery is then performed using instruments made specifically for this particular procedure. Usually a full 90-95% of the stomach is bypassed, leaving it the size of an egg.
As mentioned earlier, there are gastric bypass risks involved as with any other surgery. The following complications happen in a very low percentile of the patients, but we are presenting them you so you can base your surgical decision armed with full knowledge of the risks involved. I am placing them in numerical order.
1 – Gastrointestinal Leak – Sometimes leaks occur where the stomach and intestine are connected. If the seal does not perform as it should, bowel contents can leak into the abdomen and cause serious infections. This only happens in around 1% of the patients, but is one of the gastric bypass risks that must be dealt with rigorously.
2 – Deep Venous Thromobsis – This occurs when a blood clot forms and then breaks free and travels to the brain, heart or lungs. Following recovery procedures given by your physician and wearing prescribed medical hose reduces the chance of this occurring. This is not a complication that only happens in gastric bypass surgery, but can be an occurrence for any major surgery.
3 – Infection – In any major surgery there is always the risk of infections or pneumonia. If infections occur they should be closely watched, but can usually be dealt with by use of antibiotics, respiratory exercises and post operative activity.
4 – Gallstones - Studies show that up 30% of gastric bypass patients develop gallstones during the first year after surgery. Very low calorie diets, as the one you will be on after your bypass is completed, does not have enough fat content to contract and empty its bile, causing serious pain. In many cases the gall bladder will have to be removed. However, there are medications your doctor can prescribe to help prevent gallstone problems, or you may even talk to your him about removing the gallstone during your surgery to reduce the gastric bypass risks.
5 – Stomal Stenosis – This is a narrowing of the new bypass between the stomach and intestine. The cause is not entirely known, but has been associated with too much scar tissue and blood flow in the area. The symptoms include problems tolerating solid food and trouble swallowing. At times additional surgery is required to remedy the problem.
6 - Dehiscence - Dehiscence is the premature opening of a surgical wound before it has completely healed. It can be caused by poor knotting of the stitches, a trauma to the wound after surgery, or inadequate scar formation. To treat this post surgery problem the wound must be packed daily to prevent infection until the wound is healed enough to remove the packing. This can sometime take weeks and is one of the serious gastric bypass risks.
7 – Ulcers – approximately 5% of gastric patients develop ulcers. These ulcers can be caused by a number of factors including inflammation drug use and acid secretion in the pouch. The ulcers should be treated with available medications and the patient should be taken off as many NSAIDs as possible.
There may be a few other gastric bypass risks that are not included in this list. However, as stated earlier, this list in general are occurrences that rarely happen. More than 80% of patients who have this surgery reach within 10% of their weight loss goal, and along with the weight loss goes most, if not all of the health issues and problens that when along with it.