Blockage After Gastric Bypass
Countless patients have come to our Tijuana, Mexico practice for the latest bariatric surgery procedures. One of the most well known and effective treatments we offer is gastric bypass surgery, which promotes rapid weight loss for morbidly obese patients. It both restricts the amount of calories consumed in a meal as well as the number of calories absorbed by the body during digestion.
While highly effective, gastric bypass is not without risks. One possible post-surgical complication is bowel obstruction. Let’s cover the basics of bowel obstruction, what causes it to happen, and how it can be treated and prevented.
About Small Bowel Obstructions
A small bowel obstruction occurs in the small intestine. It means that food is unable to pass through the small intestine as part of the natural digestion process. Given the nature of this condition, a small bowel obstruction can pose serious dangers to your health and wellness if it is not addressed in a timely manner.
The Risk of Blockage After Gastric Bypass
Small bowl obstruction is a potential risk after gastric bypass surgery. The chances of developing an obstruction are roughly 5 percent, which may sound relatively low, but it is worth considering given the severity of the condition.
These blockages are typically the result of fibrous tissue adhesions developing in the abdominal area following the bariatric surgery. If a patient has undergone prior abdominal surgery, the risk of blockage may be higher.
Signs and Symptoms of Small Bowel Obstruction
Common signs and symptoms of intestinal blockages include:
- Recurring abdominal pain or cramping
- Abdominal swelling
- Difficulty passing gas
- Poor appetite
Be sure to seek immediate medical care if you notice any of the above symptoms. The team at Tijuana Bariatrics can also be contacted in case the procedure needs to be modified or adjusted given the occurrence of a complication.
Treatments for Small Bowel Obstruction
The treatment for small bowel obstruction can vary depending on the extent and nature of the blockage. Partial blockages may be treated with hospitalization and putting the patient on a low-fiber diet. The hope is that the partial blockage passes on its own. If the partial blockage does not clear, then surgery is recommend.
For a total blockage of the small intestine, surgery will be required to dislodge the blockage. Adjusting diet and lifestyle after the removal of the blockage is recommended to prevent future incidents from occurring.
Tips on Preventing Bowel Obstruction After Surgery
The best thing patients can do to prevent bowel obstruction after gastric bypass is to follow all dietary recommendations closely. Do not eat any foods a bariatric surgeon deems as risky or difficult. Be sure to eat slowly, chew thoroughly, savor your meals, and avoid overeating. Drink water between meals to stay hydrated and prevent constipation.
Giving Patients Information on All Risks and Benefits
It’s important to us that patients understand the potential risk of bowl obstruction after gastric bypass. This may make patients think twice about their procedure, or consider other surgeries that can yield effective and lasting weight loss results. We are here to help and to offer the honest insight you need.
Contact Our Team of Weight Loss Surgeons
For more information about potential complications following gastric bypass surgery and how they can be addressed, be sure to contact our bariatric surgery center. You can reach the surgeons of Tijuana Bariatrics by phone at (664) 167-7290.