Gastric Bypass Complications & Side Effects

Because gastric bypass is major surgery, it poses possible complications and side effects, which should be considered before making the decision to have surgery. Complications can occur both early after surgery and later during the recovery period. Although no surgery is risk-free, AtlantiCare's program takes steps to minimize the chance of complications with:

  • Proper treatment
  • Monitoring
  • Support
  • Management

Potential Early Complications Following Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery:

  • Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot)
  • Gastrointestinal leak
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Spleen injuries
  • Infection
  • Respiratory complications (such as pneumonia)
  • Cardiac complications
  • Bleeding that may require a blood transfusion or possibly a return to the operating room
  • Stenosis (a narrowing or blockage where the new stomach pouch and the intestine connect or the area where the intestine is reconnected)
  • Death (1 in 200 cases)

Potential Later Recovery Period Problems:

  • Nausea, vomiting or frothing (fluid bubbling up, with or without retching), which may be caused by not following the program’s dietary guidelines
  • Dumping (a condition that occurs when the stomach’s contents move too rapidly through the small intestine, usually after eating foods high in sugars and fats)
  • Constipation
  • Hair loss
  • Vitamin deficiencies (including iron deficiency anemia and B-12 deficiency)
  • Gallstones, due to losing significant weight over a short time period
  • Strictures (narrowing of the intestine, often from scarring or ulcers)
  • Incisional hernia (after open surgery)
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Ulcers
  • Regaining of weight

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