Can Appendicitis Occur After Bariatric Surgery?

October 22, 2016 — by Fernando Garcia
Tags: Bariatric Surgery Complications

A woman with a stomach acheHere at Tijuana Bariatrics, we always want to provide patients with complete information about their surgical options. This means letting people know the benefits of surgery and also providing some information on the risks involved. By understanding the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery, patients are better prepared for the entire process.

While gallstones and gallbladder issues are relatively common after bariatric surgery, there are other potential problems to keep in mind. One such issue is appendicitis, which we'd like to go over in more detail right now.

How Common is Appendicitis After Weight Loss Surgery?

Appendicitis is not necessarily common after weight loss surgery, but it can and has occurred in a number of instances. Given the nature of some bariatric surgery procedures, it should come as no surprise that appendicitis might be a risk.

Why Does Appendicitis Occur?

The appendix is a small tube located near the junction of the small intestine and the large intestine. Appendicitis refers to the inflammation of this small tube. This may be the result of abnormal stimulation of the abdominal area.

As of now, the exact mechanism for bariatric surgery causing appendicitis has yet to be determined, but given that some bariatric procedures involve changes or revision to the small intestine, this could be one of the potential reasons.

Signs and Symptoms of Appendicitis

The most common signs and symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Pain (often on right side of the abdomen)
  • Serious discomfort when walking, coughing, or making sudden movements
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

In some cases, the appendix may be so inflamed that it bursts. Should you notice any of the above issues while recovering from bariatric surgery or after you've healed from a weight loss procedure, be sure to speak with your doctor as soon as possible.

Treatments for Appendicitis

The most common treatment for appendicitis is the removal of the appendix, a surgery that is known as an appendectomy. This is a generally routine procedure that can be done laparoscopically, much like a bariatric procedure. This means that a camera and small tools are used, inserted into the body through small incision around the abdomen.

If the appendix has burst, it will first be necessary to drain the abscess in that area.

Will Appendicitis Affect the Results of Bariatric Surgery?

No.

While there may be some concern about the effects on the bariatric surgery, the more pressing concern is to remove the infected or ruptured appendix. Thankfully this is done without incident and major worry.

Knowing the Risks Ahead of Time is Useful

Given the potential for complications and side effects after surgery, it's important that patients be aware of all the potential risks of a procedure ahead of time. This often allows patients to have more realistic expectations about the recovery process, and can lead to patients taking pre-op and post-op instructions more seriously.

During the consultation process, we will be sure to go over these matters with you in greater detail.

Learn More About Advanced Weight Loss Surgery

For more information about weight loss surgery and how it can help you lead a healthier and more rewarding lifestyle, be sure to contact our team of bariatric surgery and weight loss specialists today. The team at Tijuana Bariatrics will work with you and help you lose weight and look great.