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Complications, Side Effects of Bariatric Surgery

By December 31, 2019 April 17th, 2020 No Comments
Complications, Side Effects of Bariatric Surgery - Ruby Hall Clinic

Obesity can be considered a modern-day epidemic that’s slowly spreading all over the world that includes young as well as the old. Obesity is not just about the excessive fat but the condition that invites a lot of life-threatening diseases like diabetes, heart stroke, blood pressure. Obesity is measured in terms of Body Mass Index (BMI). This BMI is further categorized into Class 1, 2 and 3. Class 1 obesity is when the person has a BMI of 30 to 35 while Class 2 obesity is a person with a BMI of 35 to 40 and Class 3 obesity is a person with a BMI of 40 and above. Class 2 and 3 are considered a severe condition of obesity which cannot be treated by diet and exercise.

For such severe condition bariatric surgery is one such solution that can be used as a treatment. This surgical procedure is done to the digestive system because of which the patient’s appetite and in some procedures the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, Hence the patient starts losing weight thus getting out of extreme obesity.

What are the side effects of Bariatric Surgery?

Every surgical procedure involves an incision to the body and altering the function either by removing, adding something to the internal system and then Stichting back the incision. As the surgery involves surgeons handling vital organs, there is always the possibility for side effects that could arise post-surgical operation. Bariatric surgery is no exception and this procedure too has its own set of risks and side effects. This blog we will understand what are the side effects that you should be aware of before making a decision or thinking of undergoing bariatric surgery. The side effects could be divided into two major categories

Categories of Bariatric Surgery

  • Immediate postoperative complications

The immediate side effects after bariatric surgery include

  1. Acid reflux
  2. Anesthesia-related risks
  3. Infection
  4. Obstruction of stomach
  5. Chronic nausea and vomiting
  6. Inability to eat certain foods
  7. Dilation of esophagus
  • Probability of Death

The probability of death due to bariatric surgery is very much correlated to the age and sex of the patient. The fatality due to bariatric surgery was at 1% in the first year post-surgery while the percentage increases to 6% at 5 years. Less than 1% of death occurred within 30 days of surgery. The fatality substantially increased with the age ( especially among those more than 65 years of age ). Coronary heart disease was the leading cause of death. Therapeutic complications accounted as a major reason for death in the first 30 days of surgery, including pulmonary embolism in 20% patient, coronary heart disease in 17% and sepsis in 11% of the patients.

  1. Development of gallstones

In a recent study, it has shown that patients who undergo weight loss surgery like bariatric surgery have a high risk of developing gall stones. In the research, it was shown that the risk of developing gallstones increased by 10 times for a patient undergoing bariatric surgery. In such cases, the doctor generally suggests bile acid sequestrants which the patient has to take several times a day.

  1. Stoma blockage

The stoma blockage generally happens when foods with large particles are inserted without chewing in properly before consuming it. This further causes pain, nausea, and vomiting. The patient should avoid such food for some time and should try after some rest given to the stomach. If the pain and nausea persist then it is recommended to consult your doctor for analysis.

  1. Excess skin

Post-bariatric surgery as the patient starts losing weight he/she will start to see loose skin hanging on different parts of the body. Plastic surgery, in that case, helps trim the excess skin which not only will help you look aesthetically pleasing it also helps the skin be healthy as excess skin tends to cause rashes.

There are 5 places on the body where this plastic surgery called a body contouring procedure is required. These include

  • Abdomen

The surgery to remove excess skin on the abdomen is called abdominoplasty. The plastic surgeon removes the extra skin and tightens the muscle to look better and firmer

  • Chest Area

This breast surgery is required for both men and women to remove the extra skin hanging from the chest.

For women, the procedure is similar to a breast lift surgery. For men, the surgeon performs a gynecomastia procedure which is generally used for men who develop breasts due to hormonal imbalance.

  • Upper arms

This is one of the most common problems in patients who loose skin. The skin around the arm is loose and hangs down which is also known as batwing deformity as it looks like a bat hanging down. So plastic surgery is performed to remove this excess skin but this procedure will leave scars behind.

  • Thighs

The plastic surgeon can also remove excess skin from the thigh but it is comparatively a difficult procedure. The entire procedure depends on how heavy the thigh still is as well as the anatomic location of the skin.

  • Face

This is always the last part of the body undertaken in body contouring procedure as it requires quite a fair amount of work.

  1. Effects on mental health

This might sound absurd but obesity, as well as subsequent bariatric surgery, can have a positive or negative effect on the patient. For most patients who undergo bariatric surgery have a positive psychosocial effect but few patients tend to have a negative effect. This majorly is due to the non-realistic expectation of post-surgery weight loss which when not met tends to depress the patient. For some this may even lead to self-harm or suicidal attempts. Hence it is very important that the patient has counseled with a hospital psychologist before undergoing the weight loss procedure like bariatric surgery.

  1. Slippage of the gastric band

A gastric band procedure that’s done for weight loss sometimes has the case of slippage of a gastric band. The band actually does not slip but the portion of the stomach that was below the band emerges out causing the inlet to the stomach squeeze further or sometimes choke completely. This is a cause of emergency would need to be operated immediately. The symptoms of gastric band include

  • Pain when eating solid food
  • Vomiting with solid foods
  • Night cough
  • Severe heartburn or reflux
  • Chest pain or pressure

If the patient starts vomiting any and every solid or liquid food then he/she should immediately be taken to the hospital.

  1. Intolerance to foods

After bariatric surgery, your body may become intolerant to foods high in sugar and fat. These foods may cause nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating and diarrhea. Some food that may have been tolerant before surgery may not be tolerant after surgery. There are some cases where the patients have been intolerant towards healthy food like leafy greens, eggs, beef and pork. Food intolerance is very individual. Each person’s intolerance would be different from each other.

Ruby Hall Clinic: India’s leading obesity care and physical wellness hospital

Ruby Hall Clinic is India’s leading obesity care and physical wellness hospital. We provide all the tests as well as a surgical solution for weight loss which includes Bariatric Surgery.  Our state of the art facility has the most modern medical tools and devices along with our expert doctors with decades of surgical experience, we work towards giving you the best analysis and treatment plan to weight loss journey that not just includes the surgery but even post-surgical guidance by our expert nutritionist as well as a physician. To know more about our services and offerings click here

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