The Side Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery

October 24, 2016 — by Fernando Garcia
Tags: Gastric Bypass Bariatric Surgery Side Effects

A patient and her doctor discussing health issuesThe team here at Tijuana Bariatrics offers support for patients before surgery, during the surgical process, and in the post-op recovery phase. We feel that being there for patients is the best way to ensure the best results with regard to long-term weight loss and general wellness.

Before a patient undergoes a gastric bypass, for instance, we offer deatailed information on gastric bypass surgery recovery. We want to focus on one facet of the recovery phase today: the side effects of gastric bypass surgery.

Side Effects vs. Complications: There is a Difference

Before discussing the side effects of gastric bypass surgery, let's first point out that side effects are different from complications.

Side effects are a body's normal response to surgery and the changes that result from surgery. These are to be expected and, in many cases, are not severe and are only temporary issues.

Complications, on the other hand, refer to serious problems that are not common after surgery is performed. If something troublesome happens during recovery, it's important that it be addressed as soon as possible to avoid injury and other issues.

Pain and Discomfort

Pain and discomfort are to be expected following any sort of surgery. Gastric bypass and other bariatric procedures are no exception. Be sure to rest well after your surgery and to take any recommended pain relievers as directed. The pain should be less of an issue after the first week or so.

Bruising and Swelling

After undergoing surgery, it's common for patients to notice bruising and swelling around the incision sites. Thankfully both of these issues are temporary and relatively minor. Bruising typically lasts about two weeks, with discoloration fading gradually day by day after the first week. Swelling is common for the first weeks after surgery, with major swelling reduced by the end of the first month.

Using ice packs and cold compresses as directed can help ease swelling. Patients should also walk a little as they recover to improve blood circulation, which can help address various side effects and prevent serious blood clots and other complications.

Short-Term Hair Loss

After surgery, your body will often react to the procedure by triggering the loss of hair. This is the result of hormonal changes, dietary changes, and the overall shock to the system from the procedure. The hair thinning and hair loss is just temporary, and it should resolve itself after a few months.

Gallstones

Gallstones are common when a person loses a lot of weight in a short amount of time. In fact, it's estimated that roughly half of bariatric surgery patients will develop gallstones after their surgery. The gallstones are typically harmless, and they can be dealt with easily should they occur. It's estimated that between 15% to 25% of people who undergo bariatric surgery will eventually require gallbladder removal.

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

A change in your eating habits and your diet will result in some vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These matters are thankfully temporary. As you adjust to your new diet, it's important to consider your body's needs. A dietician and your general practitioner can recommend daily vitamins as well as foods that can help you reach your daily nutritional needs.

Learn More About Gastric Bypass Surgery

For more information about gastric bypass surgery and other bariatric surgery options that can improve your overall wellness, be sure to contact our team of weight loss surgery specialists today. The team at Tijuana Bariatrics is here to help you lose weight and get a grip on your future health.