My Blog List

Monday, February 11, 2013

Long Term Complications Of Weight Loss Surgery

One complication of gastric bypass surgery may be the development of an ulcer where the small intestine is attached to the upper part of the stomach. Ulcers may occur in 5 percent of people who have gastric bypass surgery. Ulcers are most common in people who take aspirin or other medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs).

A hernia or weakness in the incision occurs in about 15 percent of people who have weight-reduction surgery. This usually requires surgical repair, depending on the symptoms and the extent of the hernia. Patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery have a hernia rate of  2 percent.

A complication is a narrowing or "stricture" of the stoma (opening) between the stomach and intestine. This also may require another surgery, or more commonly an outpatient procedure that expands the narrowed area with a dilating tube that is passed to the stomach through the mouth.

Mayo Clinic physicians have recognized and reported on a serious complication following gastric bypass called NIPHS (non-insulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycemia syndrome) or post-bariatric surgery hypoglycemia. This is characterized by very low blood sugar levels after eating that results in severe neurologic symptoms, including visual disturbances, confusion and  seizures.

Mayo physicians in Rochester have evaluated and treated several patients with NIPHS. When medical and diet therapy fail, surgical removal of part of the pancreas has resulted in marked improvement of symptoms for most. If symptoms described above occur, patients should notify their physician immediately. Until this condition is controlled, patients should avoid driving motorized vehicles or performing tasks that could effect the safety of those around them.

After Roux-en-Y gastric bypass the body cannot not absorb certain vitamins and minerals. Long-term complications of this malabsorption may include the following:
  • Anemia due to deficiency of iron or vitamin B12
  • Neurologic complications from vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Kidney stone disease due to changes in how the body absorbs calcium and oxalate
  • Possible bone disease due to mineral or vitamin D deficiency
Follow-up visits with the physician will determine which vitamin and mineral supplements are necessary after surgery. The need for vitamin and mineral supplements is especially true for people who have a very long limb Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, because this surgery can be associated with frequent diarrhea and failure to absorb enough calcium and iron.

Related: See Dr Oz Get Busted for Weight Loss Fraud Click Here

Dehydration is a complication following weight-reduction surgery, as patients are no longer able to drink large quantities of liquid at one time.

In the first three to six months, the patient may experience one or more of the following changes as the body reacts to rapid weight loss:
  • Body aches
  • Feeling tired, like one has the flu
  • Feeling cold when others feel comfortable
  • Dry skin
  • Hair thinning and hair loss
  • Changes in mood
  • Relationship issues


  1. My sister had gastric bypass in September 2013. It has been a nightmare and still is. She had severe complications (bowel obstruction, ulcers, severe nausea/vomiting, endoscopic procedures to widen her stomach). It continue to get worse and with consulting with her doctor, she decided to have gastric bypass reversal in February 2014 in hopes that she could function and keep down any food. A month following this procedure, she started to have severe nausea/vomiting again and has been in/out of the hospitals. She is dehydrated, malnourished and depressed. She's 39 years old and it's like she is experiencing severe bulimia and is trying so hard to keep food/liquids down. As I type, she's back in the hospital again for low potassium. Honestly, I'm scared that these complications will take her life. Her doctor who performed the surgery basically washed his hands clean of her telling her that they ran all tests and all came back clear. She has appointment to see another GI doctor and is meeting with a counselor to help her navigate her through this major life change. I'm reaching out desperately anywhere to find any support or connect with anyone who has had these severe complications to see if they got better or if anyone could provide any resources, blogs to help encourage my sister. It's beyond heartbreaking to see my sister go through this and to lose so much weight due to malnutrition. While I know several people who have had success with this surgery, I know that there is a small percentage that suffer greatly.

    1. American doctors are brutal and greedy bastards.who are members of an even more brutal and greedy industry. The medical industry is the only industry that can make money when they screw up and then make even more trying to fix their screw ups.

      The best thing for your sister to do is find a good mal-practice lawyer and get some sort of financial compensation. It's better to be miserable with some money in your pocket than destitute and miserable.

      A much larger percentage of WLS "patients" have serious and life long complications than the industry admits.

      I hear that gastric bypass revision is a tough surgery.

      The thing is, nature designed the human digestive system the way it is for a good reason. Altering a healthy digestive system is barbaric and is a form of assault and battery.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Edward, spammers like you are breaking the law.


Feel free to comment on the articles that appear on this blog but also include your weight loss surgery nightmares even if they are off topic. Speak freely and say what ever you want.