Weight Loss Surgery Risks and Complications – Parham Doctors’ Hospital

Weight Loss Surgery Risks and Complications – Parham Doctors’ Hospital


– A lot of times, patients will wanna know what are the risks and
possible complications after bariatric surgery and that’s a very
important question to ask and it’s a little different
for each operation. The gastric bypass is the
more complicated operation, more complex, so it has
a slightly higher risk. Things that are common
are things like bleeding, which is very, very low, less than 1%, infection, again, around 1%. But since we’re basically
replumbing on a gastric bypass, the thing you worry about the most when you have plumbing done is leaking. It happens very low, less
than 1%, probably about .08%. With the sleeve gastrectomy, we’re not doing the bypass part, so there’s a little less
risk in terms of leaking but you still can have a
leak from the staple line of the new banana we’ve created after taking out part of the stomach. Again, it’s very low, the key
is knowing what you’re doing, not making it too tight and making sure that those staple lines are sealed at the end of the
surgery, which we all do. Again, there’s a small risk of bleeding, a small risk of infection. But the risks, when you compare
them to the health issues, are very low and it’s not
worth not doing the surgery. And, in fact, if you take the same patient who needs a total hip
replacement and a gastric bypass and you do those operations, the patient with the total
hip has the higher risk than does the patient
with the gastric bypass. There are things that
can happen after surgery or things that can be
anticipated after surgery that patients wanna be
aware of, and one is reflux. Every patient who has any
type of weight loss surgery, we want them on a PPI or
something to control acid reflux for at least a year after surgery. After that year, we’ll allow them to try to come off the medication
and if they can, great. But patients who have
had a gastric bypass, it really is safer to
stay on it for a long term and there’s really no
downside or danger to it. One of the things I’d like our gastric bypass patients to know is, after a gastric bypass
there is a small incidence, about 5 to 8% of getting
what’s called a marginal ulcer. A marginal ulcer is an ulcer that develops on the small bowel side of the connection between the small bowel and the stomach. That can happen for any number of reasons. It can be a result of the surgery, from low blood flow to that
area which causes an ulcer, it can also be from
using certain medications that you’re really not supposed
to use after the surgery, such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve,
what we refer to as NSAIDs because all of those, including Aspirin, have a tendency to erode at
the lining of the stomach and the small bowel and
can cause small ulcers that can lead to nausea,
vomiting, bleeding, and in some cases, a
stricture which is a narrowing of that opening between the
small bowel and the stomach which can prevent food from going through. The majority of the time,
these are treated medically, patients can be put on acid medication to help the ulcer heal and
then avoid those medications and it shouldn’t happen again. In some cases, we need to do an endoscopy where the patient will go
to sleep for a little bit, we’ll look down into the pouch and we may need to dilate
that area if it’s strictures. It’s unusual though that a patient would need further surgery
to take care of that and the majority of the cases
can be treated medically. But that’s an important thing to know and if you have to go on those
medications for some reason, whether it’s joint pain
or something like that, it’s very important that
you’re taking something like Prilosec, Pepsid,
or something to control that acid in the stomach.

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