Bariatric surgery is a surgical weight-loss procedure done to help reduce excess weight. When diet and exercise haven’t worked or when a patient has serious weight-related health problems, bariatric surgery may be a good option.
People that are overweight with a BMI of 30 and above, and with serious weight-related health problems are typically good candidates for bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery typically involves making changes to the digestive system to limit the amount of food a person can eat and also reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and calories.
While bariatric surgery can offer many benefits, it is an invasive weight-loss procedure that can cause serious risks, complications, and side effects.
If you want to undergo any bariatric surgery, you need to take to your surgeon to know if you’re an ideal candidate for the procedure to minimize risks and complications.
Your surgeon will communicate with you and make sure you understand the risks and complications of your specific bariatric procedure.
During bariatric surgery, incisions are made on the abdomen. Changes are also made on the intestine and stomach. All these can cause excessive bleeding that could be very dangerous.
Allergic reactions to the anesthesia used is a common risk experienced by some people after undergoing bariatric surgery.
Acid reflux is the coming back up of stomach acids from the stomach to the esophagus which irritates the lining of the esophagus. Acid reflux is caused by the alterations made in the intestine and digestive system.
Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of bariatric surgery.
After undergoing bariatric surgery, you may not be able to eat certain types of foods. You will also be asked to limit your intake or totally avoid foods high in fats and cholesterol.
Infection can occur at the incision site or surgical site.
Certain types of bariatric surgeries alter the shape and functionality of the stomach. The stomach is generally reduced in size which can lead to complications.
Dilation of the esophagus is another complication that can occur with bariatric surgery.
Even after undergoing bariatric surgery, some patients don’t lose weight. Some patients even gain more weight over time.
Dumping syndrome normally occurs after bariatric surgery. Dumping syndrome can cause nausea, dizziness, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, flushing, or feeling bloated after eating.
After undergoing bariatric surgery, the amount of sugar and calories you eat reduces drastically. This can significantly reduce your blood sugar level.
Malnutrition is a common side effect of bariatric surgery. It is caused due to the drastic reduction of foods that patients can eat after undergoing bariatric surgery. The drastic reduction of foods leads to a significant reduction of nutrients absorbed by the body, which can lead to malnutrition.
Vomiting is a common side effect of bariatric surgery due to the changes in the digestive system.
The lack of adequate food after undergoing bariatric surgery can lead to ulcers.
Bowel obstruction can occur many years after bariatric surgery.
A hernia is a condition that occurs when an organ pushes out through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds the organ in place. The intestines may break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall after bariatric surgery.
Leakages can occur at the surgical site.
Hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in the gallbladder are known as gallstones. The risk of gallstones can increase with rapid or drastic weight loss that can occur after bariatric surgery
The stomach or intestines can be perforated during a bariatric surgical procedures.
Lack of protein or calories due to a drastic reduction of foods can occur.
Patients may experience serious pulmonary or cardiac problems after undergoing bariatric surgery.
Skin separation occurs when the skin layer is separated from the soft tissues, causing air to penetrate in between. Skin separation can occur due to the lack of certain nutrients that are beneficial to the skin.
The spleen or any other organ can get injured during the surgery.
The narrowing of the urethra is known as a stricture. Stricture is a complication that can occur after undergoing bariatric surgery.
Lack of essential vitamins and iron due to the significant reduction in foods and nutrients in the body can occur.
Blood clots can occur after bariatric surgery.
Patients may experience lung or breathing problems after undergoing bariatric surgery.
Cuts made in the intestines and gastrointestinal system can lead to leakages when the cuts are not properly stitched or sealed.
After undergoing bariatric surgery some patients may look pale due to a lack of essential nutrients in the body.
Some patients may feel increased hunger after undergoing bariatric due to a drastic reduction in the number of foods they eat.
In certain cases, undergoing bariatric surgery may not provide the desired results. You may experience complications that require another surgery. In this case, your doctor may recommend undergoing a second or revision surgery.
In very rare cases, patients may die after undergoing bariatric surgery due to serious complications.
What does bariatric surgery mean?
Bariatric surgery is the general term used to describe surgical procedures that involve making changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight.
During bariatric surgery, incisions are made on your abdomen so that your surgeon can access your digestive system to perform the surgical procedure.
Examples of bariatric surgery include gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, and duodenal switch.
You are eligible for bariatric surgery if;
Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or more
Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 and you have a specific weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea.
You may also be eligible in some cases if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have very serious weight-related health problems.
Gastric sleeve, also known as sleeve gastrectomy is the most common bariatric sleeve surgery.
Sleeve gastrectomy is the most common bariatric surgery because it involves removing part of the stomach without rerouting of the gastrointestinal tract. The procedure is less technically demanding with few postoperative complications and long-term nutritional problems.
The complications can be short-term or long-term.
Short-term complications include:
Long-term complications include:
Candy cane syndrome is a rare complication of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. It occurs when there is an excessive length of non-functional roux limb proximal to gastrojejunostomy. This creates the possibility for particles of food to accumulate and remain in the blind redundant limb.
Most bariatric surgery generally increases life expectancy. However, there are some cases where the life expectancy of persons with extremely high BMI of 50 and above can be shortened due to increased complications.
After undergoing bariatric weight loss surgery, many patients lose so much weight that they begin to have loose and saggy skin. This is because the fat cells begin to shrink much faster than the skin can tighten, leading to loose and sagging skin.
However, not every patient has loose and saggy skin after bariatric surgery. Certain factors can affect a patient’s tendency to have loose and saggy skin. These factors include age, amount of weight lost, and elasticity of the skin.
After undergoing going bariatric surgery, it is not advised to drink caffeinated drinks such as coffee for at least a month following the surgery. This is because coffee is a stimulant and can cause low nutrient absorption. It can also cause stomach bloating and acid reflux. Avoid coffee for at least a month until your surgeon gives you the go-ahead.
If you don’t take vitamins after bariatric surgery, it can cause serious complications and illness. Lack of vitamins after bariatric surgery can make you feel very weak and tired. It can cause iron deficiency anemia. It can negatively affect your mood and concentration. It can also cause pain from nerve damage.
After bariatric surgery, you need to take vitamins such as vitamin D, C, B12, iron and certain other vitamins that will be prescribed by your surgeon.
Protein is very important to your body. You need protein to help your body repair cells and produce new ones. Protein contains amino acids, which are building blocks for the body. Your body uses amino acids to build and repair muscles and bones.
Your body can’t make protein if you don’t eat foods that contain protein. Your body cannot store protein; hence you need to eat foods that contain protein as often as possible.
If you don’t get enough protein after bariatric surgery, you may notice thinning hair and loss. You may also notice swollen and puffy skin. Loss of bone mass, increased risk of bone fractures and increased risk of infection may also occur.
Your body loses more protein after bariatric surgery. You need to eat foods that contain more protein in order to replace lost protein in your body.
Hair loss lasts for about 3-5 months after bariatric surgery. Hair loss will decrease and then stop as your body adjusts to the changes and as you eat foods that contain protein and other important nutrients.
The best vitamins for bariatric surgery patients include vitamin D, iron, vitamin C, and Vitamin B12.
Ways that you can prevent your hair from falling out after bariatric surgery include:
High doses of vitamin D supplementation are recommended after undergoing bariatric surgery. Your vitamin D intake should range from 3,000 IU daily to 50,000 IU 1-3 times weekly.