As with any surgery, the side effects of gastric bypass surgery can range from minor to severe. Before undergoing this surgery, it’s important to know what some of these side effects might be.\nEven though it may improve your quality of life, gastric bypass surgery can affect your digestive tract.\nAdherence to your specific eating plan and regular exercise pre- and post-gastric bypass is critical. This is to avoid complications and ensure your long-term health and weight management. \nThe overall risk of gastric bypass side effects should not outweigh your risk of ongoing obesity.\nThis article provides a thorough overview of gastric bypass surgery side effects. We also aim to inform you of the short and long-term complications, as well as other risks of gastric bypass.\nWhat This Article Covers:\n\nSide Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery\nOther Side Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery\n\nSide Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery\nMost Common Gastric Bypass Side Effects\nIncludes: Nausea and vomiting, dysphagia, constipation, stomach bloating, and dehydration. Fecal and urinary incontinence has also been documented, making it difficult for you to pass stools and urinate properly. \nWith inconsistent dietary adherence, the stomach can stretch to compensate for the additional food being taken in. This will lead to unnecessary and unhealthy weight regain, which is a severe drawback and waste of your gastric bypass.\nLess Common Gastric Bypass Side Effects\n\nThis includes an anastomotic leak, peritonitis, bowel obstruction, gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage, epigastric pain, and stricture. \nThe anastomotic leak happens when leakage occurs at the staple line or connection between the stomach and intestine. It is a dangerous and life-threatening complication. It may cause bleeding and infection. \nLeakage symptoms may include: increased heart rate (tachycardia), fever, decreased urine output, pain in your stomach and the left shoulder, and low blood pressure.\nPeritonitis can be a serious complication of gastric bypass. It occurs when an anastomotic leak causes inflammation of your abdominal membrane lining, called the peritoneum. Signs and symptoms of peritonitis may include fever, severe gastric pain and back pain, pelvic pressure, hiccups, tachycardia, and restlessness. \nSmall Bowel Obstruction (SBO) is generally due to internal hernias, adhesions, and strictures. Patients may present with abdominal pain or cramps, with or without vomiting. \nStenosis or stricture can occur due to the narrowing of the opening between your stomach and intestine post-op. This can cause vomiting after eating or drinking. \nSevere Gastric Bypass Side Effects\n\nExcessive bleeding\nInfection\nLeakage in the gastrointestinal tract\n\nShort-term Side Effects of Gastric Bypass\nEarly complications after gastric bypass surgery may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, food intolerance, dizziness, and general fatigue that may be easily treated.\nLong-Term Side Effects of Gastric Bypass\nLong-term complications of an anastomotic leak may include ulcers, scarring, and anastomotic stricture. \nAnastomotic Stricture causes progressive dysphagia and vomiting. \nA fistula, an abnormal drainage tract, could also develop. Gastro-gastric fistula (GGF) usually causes weight gain.\nGastric bypass complications years later may also include bowel obstruction, hernias, and vitamin and mineral deficiency, . \nBlood clots, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pulmonary Embolism, Lung or breathing problems can be a risk in the long-term. \nPneumonia or Aspiration Pneumonia is another dangerous complication, resulting from digestive juices entering into the lungs.\nGastric bypass side effects in the COVID-era could be potentially even more life-threatening, as any form of contamination could cause sepsis and exacerbate your situation.\nMortality rates post gastric bypass are low, but can be possible. \nDumping syndrome occurs when food enters moves from the stomach to the small intestine too quickly (‘dumped’) without being digested. It can lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), and malnutrition. Further side effects such as fatigue, dizziness, tremors, and altered mental state may occur.\nMalnutrition and Nutrient Deficiencies\n\nGastric bypass is a restrictive and malabsorptive surgical procedure. This can give rise to nutritional deficiencies - specifically Iron, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D deficiencies. \nIron deficiency is the most common. It can occur after any bariatric procedure, despite preventative supplementation. The prevalence rate can range from 3 months to 10 years after surgery. This can occur due to malabsorption, decreased stomach acid, and other supplements. Patients may present with generalized weakness and microcytic anemia. \nVitamin B12 deficiency often presents as asymptomatic 2-5 years post weight loss surgery. However, it may lead to megaloblastic anemia and neurological symptoms (neuropathy) such as memory problems, unsteady gait, and depression.\nThe prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is 100%. Routine screening is recommended because deficiency may lead to osteoporosis.\nVitamin B9\/folate\/folic acid deficiency can also result in megaloblastic anemia and even paranoia. This deficiency is seen in up to 65% of bariatric patients. \nVitamin B1\/Thiamine deficiency is one of the most serious vitamin deficiencies post gastric bypass. Patients may present with dry or wet beriberi, heart problems, Wernicke’s encephalopathy, and headaches. If symptoms go untreated, there can be irreversible damage to the body. \nCalcium deficiency further leads to an increase in parathyroid hormone (PTH). This causes osteopenia and osteoporosis. \nVitamin C and minerals such as Zinc, Copper, and Selenium deficiencies may also occur.\nGastric Bypass Anatomical Side Effects\n\nGastric bypass side effects also include stomach ulcers. This can be very serious, with excruciating pain, anemia, or bleeding\nMarginal ulceration is characterized by peptic ulcers at the anastomotic site. Complications of it are serious and include perforation, bleeding, and stricture \nMucosal ischemia may also occur. This can promote the relocation of bacteria and toxins in the gut\nForeign body reactions to staples and sutures during and post-op also may occur\nStaple-line failure in the stomach pouch\n\nThe risk of Gallstones (Cholelithiasis) increases with rapid weight loss. Choledocholithiasis happens when gallstones lodge and block your common bile duct. This could further lead to gallbladder inflammation (cholangitis) or even pancreatitis. Some cases may be so severe that cholecystectomy may be needed.\nHair loss after gastric bypass is also a common complaint due to stress of surgery, malabsorption, malnutrition, deficiencies, and inflammation. \nHypoglycemia can occur and may be related to unhealthy eating, malnutrition, dumping syndrome, or hormonal changes. It can cause dizziness and fatigue.\nOther Side Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery\n\nExcess loose or sagging skin on your tummy, arms, and thighs, including over your breasts may require post-bariatric plastic surgery\n\nPsychological distress and depression after bariatric surgery may be due to the huge adjustment in eating habits and social relationships\n\n\nWhile bariatric surgery may help to improve thyroid functioning in hypothyroid bariatric patients, thyroid problems after gastric bypass may occur \n\n\nFinal Words\nAs with any surgery, bariatric surgery comes with surgical and nutritional risks. However, the benefits of surgery likely exceed the risks. Many look forward to improvements in medical conditions and overall health. This includes extreme weight loss and increased reproductive function. \nLifestyle change is required for life in order to minimize the complications and risks of bariatric surgery. Following a healthy diet high in protein and consistently taking a bariatric specific multivitamin will aid in healing and restoration. \nProtein intake will also be essential for minimizing malnutrition. If you are not getting adequate amounts through dietary intake, there is protein power for gastric bypass available to compensate for what you are lacking in the diet. \nWeight regain post-op is an unfortunate and dangerous complication. This is what usually causes negative side effects of gastric bypass surgery. All efforts should be made on your part to avoid weight regain. \nA healthy meal plan with multivitamins and minerals, and regular exercise is key. Unhealthy living and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided to prevent complications.\nComplex revision procedures are available to correct your original gastric bypass when faced with side effects. However, you will still have to put in the effort in order to experience the benefits of any bariatric surgery.\nDid you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking:\n\n\nVomiting After Gastric Sleeve Surgery\n\nChest Pain After Gastric Bypass\nFatigue After Gastric Bypass\nConstipation After Sleeve Gastrectomy\nNausea After Gastric Sleeve Surgery\nDuodenal Switch Complications\nHiccups After Gastric Sleeve\nHormone Changes After Bariatric Surgery\nDehydration After Bariatric Surgery\nGastric Sleeve Pain After Eating\nGastric Bands Side Effects\nAnorexia After Gastric Sleeve\nFood Stuck After Gastric Bypass\nBurping After Gastric Sleeve\nWhat Pain Medication Can You Take After Gastric Bypass\n\n**This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition.