VIDEO: WARNING!! Don’t Get Gastric Bypass Surgery!! “It Causes Long Term Effects!! (See Details Inside)

Gastric bypass surgery refers to a surgical procedure in which the stomach is divided into a small upper pouch and a much larger lower “remnant” pouch and then the small intestine is rearranged to connect to both. Surgeons have developed several different ways to reconnect the intestine, thus leading to several different gastric bypass (GBP) procedures. Any GBP leads to a marked reduction in the functional volume of the stomach, accompanied by an altered physiological and physical response to food.

The operation is prescribed to treat morbid obesity (defined as a body mass index greater than 40), type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and other comorbid conditions. Bariatric surgery is the term encompassing all of the surgical treatments for morbid obesity, not just gastric bypasses, which make up only one class of such operations. The resulting weight loss, typically dramatic, markedly reduces comorbidities. The long-term mortality rate of gastric bypass patients has been shown to be reduced by up to 40%. As with all surgery, complications may occur. A study from 2005 to 2006 revealed that 15% of patients experience complications as a result of gastric bypass, and 0.5% of patients died within six months of surgery due to complications.


Complications of gastric bypass

Anastomotic leakage

An anastomosis is a surgical connection between the stomach and bowel, or between two parts of the bowel. The surgeon attempts to create a water-tight connection by connecting the two organs with either staples or sutures, either of which actually makes a hole in the bowel wall. The surgeon will rely on the body’s natural healing abilities and its ability to create a seal, like a self-sealing tire, to succeed with the surgery. If that seal fails to form for any reason, fluid from within the gastrointestinal tract can leak into the sterile abdominal cavity and give rise to infection and abscess formation. Leakage of an anastomosis can occur in about 2% of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and less than 1% in mini gastric bypass. Leaks usually occur at the stomach-intestine connection (gastro-jejunostomy). There is a change in the drain fluid contents from serous (before the leak) to fecal/bilious (after the leak). Usually significant leaks need urgent re-operation. Sometimes a minor leakage can be treated with antibiotics only. It is usually safer to re-operate if an infection cannot be definitely controlled immediately.

Anastomotic stricture

As the anastomosis heals, it forms scar tissue, which naturally tends to shrink (“contract”) over time, making the opening smaller. This is called a “stricture”. Usually, the passage of food through an anastomosis will keep it stretched open, but if the inflammation and healing process outpaces the stretching process, scarring may make the opening so small that even liquids can no longer pass through it. The solution is a procedure called gastroendoscopy, and stretching of the connection by inflating a balloon inside it. Sometimes this manipulation may have to be performed more than once to achieve lasting correction.

Anastomotic ulcer

Ulceration of the anastomosis occurs in 1–16% of patients. Possible causes of such ulcers are:

  • Restricted blood supply to the anastomosis (compared to the blood supply available to the original stomach)
  • Anastomosis tension
  • Gastric acid
  • The bacteria Helicobacter pylori
  • Smoking
  • Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

This condition can be treated with:

  • Proton pump inhibitors, e.g. esomeprazole
  • A cytoprotectant and acid buffering agent, e.g. sucralfate
  • Temporary restriction of the consumption of solid foods

Dumping syndrome

Normally, the pyloric valve at the lower end of the stomach regulates the release of food into the bowel. When the gastric bypass patient eats a sugary food, the sugar passes rapidly into the intestine, where it gives rise to a physiological reaction called dumping syndrome. The body will flood the intestines with gastric content in an attempt to dilute the sugars. An affected person may feel their heart beating rapidly and forcefully, break into a cold sweat, get a feeling of butterflies in the stomach, and may have an anxiety attack. The person usually has to lie down, and could be very uncomfortable for 30–45 minutes. Diarrhea may then follow.

Nutritional deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies are common after gastric bypass surgery, and are often not recognized. They include:

  • Secondary hyperparathyroidism due to inadequate absorption of calcium may occur for GBP patients. Calcium is primarily absorbed in the duodenum, which is bypassed by the surgery. Most patients can achieve adequate calcium absorption by supplementation with vitamin D and calcium citrate (carbonate may not be absorbed—it requires an acidic stomach, which is bypassed).
  • Iron frequently is seriously deficient, particularly in menstruating females, and must be supplemented. Again, it is normally absorbed in the duodenum. Ferrous sulfate can cause considerable GI distress in normal doses; alternatives include ferrous fumarate, or a chelated form of iron. Occasionally, a female patient develops severe anemia, even with supplements, and must be treated with parenteral iron. The signs of iron deficiency include: brittle nails, an inflamed tongue, constipation, depression, headaches, fatigue, and mouth lesions.
  • Signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency may also occur such as: acne, eczema, white spots on the nails, hair loss, depression, amnesia, and lethargy.
  • Deficiency of thiamine (also known as vitamin B1) brings the risk of permanent neurological damage (i.e. Wernicke’s encephalopathy or polyneuropathy). Signs of thiamin deficiency are heart failure, memory loss, numbness of the hands, constipation, and loss of appetite.
  • Vitamin B12 requires intrinsic factor from the gastric mucosa to be absorbed. In patients with a small gastric pouch, it may not be absorbed, even if supplemented orally, and deficiencies can result in pernicious anemia and neuropathies. Vitamin B12 deficiency is quite common after gastric bypass surgery with reported rates of 30% in some clinical trials. Sublingual B12 (cyanocobalamin) appears to be adequately absorbed. In cases where sublingual B12 does not provide sufficient amounts, injections may be needed.
  • Protein malnutrition is a real risk. Some patients suffer troublesome vomiting after surgery, until their GI tract adjusts to the changes, and cannot eat adequate amounts even with 6 meals a day. Many patients require protein supplementation during the early phases of rapid weight loss to prevent excessive loss of muscle mass. Hair loss is also a risk of protein malnutrition.
  • Vitamin A deficiencies generally occur as a result of fat-soluble vitamins deficiencies. This often comes after intestinal bypass procedures such as jejunoileal bypass (no longer performed) or biliopancreatic diversion/duodenal switch procedures. In these procedures, fat absorption is markedly impaired. There is also the possibility of a vitamin A deficiency with use of the weight-loss medication orlistat (marketed as Xenical and Alli).
  • Folate deficiency is also a common occurrence in gastric bypass surgery patients.

Written by How Africa

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