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Gastric bypass

Gastric bypass surgery is an aggressive surgery meant to facilitate significant weight loss.

Gastric Bypass Side Effects

With rapid weight loss comes a laundry list of potential problems. As the body reacts to massive weight loss, it is normal to experience body aches, fatigue, dry skin, hair thinning or loss, as well as mood changes, including depression. 10% of recovering patients experience minor complications like infection of the wound and constipation, and about 5% face severe problems. Bleeding or black stool samples, blood clots, and internal leaks in the small intestine need to be closely monitored.

Gallstones are commonly associated with rapid weight loss and are developed by up to 50% of patients. Gallstones cause nausea and pain, and in 15% and 25% require surgery to remove the gallbladder. Some patients also develop "dumping syndrome," when food cycles through the intestines too rapidly, causing malnutrition. If patients eat too quickly, they often vomit. The most serious complication, death, occurs in approximately one percent of patients.

Who shouldn't use it: Laparoscopic surgery is not an option for patients who have had previous abdominal surgery, heart or lung disease, or who weigh more than 350 pounds. Gastric bypass surgery should be sought out only after diet and exercise have been tried.

Drawbacks: Weight loss will likely cause patients to develop flaps of excess skin (which can be removed with surgery). Weight regain is possible if a patient doesn't follow a post-surgery diet and exercise routine.

A 2008 study in the journal Obesity Surgery found approximately 50% of patients regained all or some of the weight loss after surgery within two years.

Recovery Time For Gastric Bypass

This is major surgery, so you'll be kept under observation in the hospital for three to five days. Immediately after surgery, the incisions are dressed to protect the abdomen. The bandages can usually be removed by the second day. During this time, bodily fluids are drained with the help of a tube that runs from the nose to the stomach.

To prevent the likelihood of blood clots, a physician will administer shots during the recovery period. Nothing can be eaten for up to three days. Between the third and fifth day after surgery, once vomiting and pain subside, a patient can return home. Daily activities can usually be resumed within three to five weeks.

After care for gastric bypass: You won't be able to eat for up to three days after surgery. Liquids, pureed food, and then soft foods are slowly reintroduced into a strict diet that must be followed for about 12 weeks.

Prescription pain killers, as well as over the counter medications like aspirin and ibuprofen, can help minimize pain during the first critical days at home. Diet and exercise are crucial to ensuring that the weight stays off.

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