Physical Requirements for Patients of Gastric Bypass

Knowing the physical requirements for patients of gastric bypass surgery is the first step for those considering this medical procedure.

Physical Requirements for Patients of Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass surgery, also known as Roux-en-Y (roo-en-wy) Gastric Bypass, is a tier 1 elective surgical procedure for patients who wish to lose weight.  Tier 1 puts it in the same category as cosmetic surgery

Gastric bypass is commonly an arthroscopic surgery that involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and then attaching it directly to the small intestine.  

This allows the food that you have eaten to bypass most of your stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine.  

According to the Mayo clinic, gastric bypass is done when conventional methods such as exercise and diet prohibit a person from losing weight and their weight is creating serious health issues.

Knowing the physical requirement of gastric bypass surgery may save you a lot of time and money before you consider the procedure.  Although this is elective surgery, not everyone will qualify for it.  

How Do I Get Approved For Weight Loss Surgery?

How Do I Get Approved For Weight Loss Surgery?

Getting approved for weight loss surgery is simple as long as you meet all of the requirements set forth by the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties).

If you meet the following criteria, you may be a candidate for gastric bypass.

  1. You have a BMI, Body Mass Index, of at least 40 or higher.
    A healthy BMI range is from 18.5 to 24.9.  Once your BMI has
    reached 30 or higher, you are considered obese.
  2. Your BMI is between 35 and 39.9 and you are subject to a serious weight-related health issue.
    Some of the health-related issues may include sleep apnea, Type 2 diabetes, or high blood pressure.  
  3. Your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have some serious weight-related health issues, you may qualify for other types of weight loss surgery.
How Do I Get Approved For Weight Loss Surgery?

After the surgery has been completed, you must be willing and ready to make permanent changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.    

Be prepared for a series of follow-up visits with your doctor to ensure you are on a successful road to recovery.  

You should also expect to be involved in a long-term follow-up that involves monitoring your diet, nutrition, psychological welfare as well as any other medical conditions. 

Not everyone will get approved for gastric bypass surgery.  Your physician will guide you through a thorough screening process.  This will ensure you are a good candidate for the surgery.

Why Was My Bariatric Surgery Denied?

In addition to your physician’s physical and mental evaluation process, you must get approval from your insurance company, unless you are a self-pay patient.  

Who Is Not A Candidate For Weight Loss Surgery?

Not everyone who may have the BMI requirements will not automatically qualify for weight loss surgery.  

If your physician feels it is in your best interest for an alternative weight loss procedure or program for gastric bypass, then you may be denied.  

Your psychological health also plays a big role in whether or not your physician qualifies you.  

A mini-mental psychological examination, known as a Folstein test, will be completed to screen patients for the procedure.

Patients are screened for the following conditions:  depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, psychosis, substance abuse, mania, as well a family history of mental health issues.

who is not a candidtate for weight loss Surgery?

According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 18 of 500 candidates for gastric bypass failed the psychological evaluation and were denied the surgery.

Your insurance company may not agree to cover your gastric bypass.  If this happens, talk with your physician about setting up a consultation with your medical insurance liaison to discuss why it is necessary for you.  

Why Was My Bariatric Surgery Denied?

Being denied bariatric surgery can be very discouraging for patients. They may see this as their only alternative to losing weight for personal or health reasons.

If you are denied the surgery, there may be things you can do to improve your eligibility.

Here are 5 reasons patients are typically denied bariatric surgery:

Body Mass Index makes a difference in gastric bypass surgery
  1. BMI
    A persons’ body mass index must be a minimum of 40 without mobilities.  If there are certain underlying health issues, a person with a BMI of 35 may qualify for the procedure.  
  2. Age
    There are currently no age limits for adults to have the procedure. As long as their physician feels they are physically and mentally qualified for the procedure and the recovery.
    However, children under the age of 13 or if the child’s body is still developing, do not qualify. It should be pointed out that your insurance will likely deny coverage for children under the age of 18.  
  3. Poor Health
    There are certain health issues a person may have that will disqualify them from the surgery.  Some of those conditions may be an active stomach infection, active cancer, progressing liver or lung disease.  Any other medical condition that may jeopardize the patient during or after surgery.
    It is worth mentioning, if and when those health issues resolve, the person may be re-evaluated for approval.
  4. Smoking
    If you’re a smoker, your physician will require you to stop smoking for up to 2 weeks prior to surgery.  Nicotine restricts your blood vessels and that would be a risk during your surgery as well as your recovery.  
  5. Poor Diet
    You will be given a pre and post-surgery diet plan.  Your ability to strictly follow that diet is critical to the success of the surgery as well as your recovery. Failure to follow the diet prior to your surgery will likely cause the procedure to be delayed or possibly denied.  
Why Was My Bariatric Surgery Denied?

Most of the reasons for bariatric denial can be overcome for future re-evaluation.

If you have been denied surgery by your physician or your insurance company, talk with your doctor for possible solutions that you are capable of overcoming.

Is There A Weight Limit For Bariatric Surgery?

In order to qualify for gastric bypass, all patients must pass a screening process. That process is designed to protect the patient from adverse reactions to the surgery.

As a result of the screening process, 5.4% of patients are rejected from elective bariatric surgery.  

One of the reasons for rejection we have not discussed is that some patients are actually too overweight to qualify.  It has nothing to do with their health as much as their mass. I know it seems strange to say you can’t have a weight loss surgery because you weigh too much but bear with me.

Is there a weight limit for gastric bypass surgery?

Patients who are over 450 pounds are typically rejected from the gastric bypass procedure. Hospital radiology equipment can only accommodate people under that weight and a certain size.

The inability to have proper internal images is too great a risk for the doctor and the hospital.

What Are Some Physiological Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Once a person has undergone gastric bypass surgery, the real work to make a permanent and healthy change begins.

The process of recovery is ongoing and requires a stringent and dedicated routine to ensure success.

During the recovery immediately following surgery, there are some physiological challenges the patient may experience.  

Many of these conditions can be cured by following a strict post-op diet prescribed by the patients’ medical team.  

hat Are Some Physiological Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Some physiological effects of post-op gastric bypass include but are not limited to the following:

  • Dumping syndrome
    This is a condition when food, especially high sugar foods, move from the stomach into the small intestine too quickly.
    The effects of dumping syndrome are nausea, malnutrition, vomiting, and low blood sugar
  • Acid reflux
  • Anesthesia-related risks
  • Infection
  • Inability to eat certain foods or types of foods
  • Chronic nausea and vomiting
  • Dilation of the esophagus

There may be other physiological effects of gastric bypass surgery on patients, but the ones mentioned above are the most common.  

There are psychological effects that have just as serious an impact on the patients’ life and recovery potential as physiological ones.  

What Are Some Psychological Effects Of Gastric Bypass Surgery?

It is worth mentioning the psychological requirements and effects of gastric bypass surgery.  Our mental health has a direct impact on our physical health and vice versa.

Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Some of the psychological effects of the procedure according to the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health include, but may not be limited to:

  • Mood disorders
  • Eating behavior disorders such as binge eating and bulimia  
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

The psychological evaluation prior to surgery approval is a vital aspect of the pre-op screening process.  It is vital for a healthy and successful recovery and continued success for the patient.  

How Long Is Recovery For Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Recovery from gastric bypass surgery is a fairly simple recovery. Provided the patient follows the medical teams’ advice and recovery plan diligently.  

The best route for a successful recovery after the procedure is rest, diet, and exercise.

Immediately following the surgery expect to spend 2 to 5 days in the hospital for observation from your medical team.  

In the hospital, you will be monitored for the following:

1. Vital signs
2. Using a breathing tool to help expand your lungs after the surgery
3. Compression socks to avoid blood clots
4. Getting out of bed to exercise your legs and core by walking. 

Once released from the hospital, expect to rest at home with minimal activity for another 3 to 5 weeks.

How Long Is Recovery For Gastric Bypass Surgery?

For your home recovery, you can expect to do the following:

  • Drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day
  • Transition from a liquid diet to a soft diet and then eventually a full diet over a six-week period.  
  • Take nutritional supplements daily to compensate for your limited diet.  Supplements may include but are not limited to, B12, Vitamins C & D, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, and a complex multi-vitamin.  
  • Avoid strenuous activity.
  • Walking daily. Have a goal of walking 2 miles per day by the sixth week of recovery.
  • Avoid any heavy lifting for the first six weeks of recovery.
  • No driving or operating heavy or dangerous equipment until you are completely off any pain medications.

Recovery for some may be much easier and quicker than for others.  The above is a general guideline of recovery meant for the average patient.

Always follow the advice of your physician and medical team.  Your recovery is detrimental to the ongoing success of your surgery.

How Do You Sleep After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Sleep and good rest are some of the most important aspects of your post-surgery recovery.  

How Do You Sleep After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

While you may feel some discomfort immediately after surgery, there are ways to get some sound sleep.

It is recommended that you sleep either on your non-surgical side or on your back. Do this for the first couple of weeks post-surgery. 

Sleeping with a pillow between your legs while side sleeping is better for your spinal alignment. Sleeping with a pillow under your knees while sleeping on your back is good for circulation.

It is worth mentioning for comfort to avoid crossing your surgical side leg over the middle of your body.  Keep your legs parallel to one another whether on your back or your side.

If you are a stomach sleeper, try avoiding sleeping on your stomach for at least two weeks post-surgery.  The weight and pressure on your incision and stomach may delay and hinder your recovery.

Do You Get A Catheter During Bariatric Surgery?

This really depends on your surgical team and what they prefer. I didn’t have to deal with this but understand that more than 50% of the time people do.

One of the procedures for any bariatric surgery where the patient is under anesthesia is having a catheter. For some people, this is a mentally challenging procedure, but there is a very good reason for it. 

Do You Get A Catheter During Bariatric Surgery?

After or sometimes during, surgery your bladder may not work properly.  This is one of the reasons you are not released from the hospital after surgery until you have urinated.

The catheter will ensure that when you urinate, your urine will go into a bag. This will prevent you from soiling yourself and your bed involuntarily. The catheter should be removed within 2 to 3 days post-surgery but most patients go home within 24 hours of surgery. 

Wrap Up To Physical Requirements For Patients of Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass surgery is a life-changing procedure for the majority of the people who elect it.  Without the procedure, the risk of ongoing and potentially life-threatening conditions will persist.

According to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, there is a 40% mortality rate for those who are denied bariatric surgery and need it for health reasons.  

Although it is still considered and categorized as a Tier 1 elective surgery, it has immediate and lifelong health benefits for those who qualify and need the procedure to maintain an ongoing healthy life.

wrap up to considerations of Gastric Bypass

Whether or not you choose to go through with gastric bypass surgery is a decision best left up to you, your loved ones, and your medical team.  Bariatric surgery should be approached with cautious optimism.

While it may have lifelong positive results for you, there are both physical as well as psychological side effects that may or not improve your overall happiness and health.

Do your research and consult with your doctors.  For most people who have elected to go through with the surgery, it is a positive and beneficial procedure.

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Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Weight Loss Surgeries?

Medicare to Pay for Weight Loss Surgeries? Obesity can exacerbate health problems in older adults. Excess weight increases the risk of diabetes, arthritis, heart failure, and even dementia.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Weight Loss Surgeries?

However, in our ‘Weight Loss Surgery Costs’ article, we point out that weight loss surgery candidates can expect to pay $20,000 to $35,000 for their procedure, which is a hefty amount for retired individuals with limited sources of income.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Weight Loss Surgeries?

Fortunately, eligible weight loss surgery candidates can seek help from Medicare, the government’s senior-focused health insurance plan, to cover the costs of weight loss treatment.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare Part B can cover any Medicare-approved weight loss surgery as long as the patient is eligible, which we will cover below. Should the patient choose to recover in a hospital after surgery, Medicare Part A will cover their stay. Patients can also avail of Medicare Part D to get coverage for any necessary prescription drugs.

Weight loss surgery candidates can also sign up for Medicare Advantage, which is a Medicare bundle plan offered by private insurers. Medicare Advantage includes Parts A and B at a lower cost. Depending on the provider, the benefits offered by Medicare Advantage can also cover Part D and post-surgery maintenance costs.

For example, weight loss surgery patients under Medicare Houston receive coverage for drugs and fitness services, as well as access to nutrition experts. These can help them maintain the effects of their procedures.

what does medicare cover for gastric surgery

Which procedures are approved by Medicare?

Medicare only covers gastric bypass, duodenal switch, and gastric banding. Other weight-loss surgeries such as gastric sleeves, gastric balloon surgeries, and intestinal bypass, were not approved by Medicare because there was not enough evidence to prove that these procedures were necessary or safe.

They are a little behind the times as most decent surgeons would refuse to do a gastric band procedure. As more long-term studies have been done, the risks far outweigh the rewards on this one.

The Lap-Band can deteriorate or causes a perforation in the gastrointestinal tract, where acids and fecal matter can leak into the abdomen. Add that to the fact that they tend to break down over time? No one should be considering that as a safe option.

Who is eligible for weight loss coverage?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ruled that Medicare can only reimburse weight loss surgery if the patient has a Body Mass Index (BMI) that is greater than or equal to 35 and has had previous unsuccessful medical obesity treatments.

How do you calculate your BMI?

How do you calculate your BMI?

Calculating BMI requires a scale, a measuring rod, and the ability to do simple arithmetic or use a calculator.

You need to know your weight in pounds, and height in inches.

The formula is pretty simple: take your weight number, divide it by your height number. Divide THAT number by your height number (yes – it is done twice). Now, take that number and multiply it by 703, and round to one decimal place.

So I used to be 5’8″ tall, or 68 inches tall. I weighed 358 pounds.

My formula would look like this:

  • 358 / 68 / 68 x 703 = ?
  • 358 / 68 = 5.26470
  • 5.26470 / 68 = .077422
  • .077422 x 703 = 54.427768 —
  • Round that to one decimal place and my pre-surgery BMI was 54.4!!

So, yeah. I was extremely obese… and am just “overweight” now at 29. I am OK with that and not looking to drop more as I am so freaking active now and reversed any possible comorbidity. I managed to drop it 25.4 points!

I have a lot more muscle mass than I used to and even if I had skin removal surgery for my excess loose skin to drop an estimated 20 more pounds, I would only drop to 27. That is STILL overweight.


Just check out this quick video on BMI thoughts:

Add in comorbidities

Weight loss surgery candidates must also have at least one comorbidity related to obesity — meaning they can only avail of the surgery if their obesity is linked to other health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or sleep apnea.

Type 2 Diabetes

There are generally two types of diabetes…type 1 and 2…and even though reports show type 2 to be a little milder than type one, it still can cause some serious health conditions.

Based on reports, gastric bypass surgery has shown that it has the ability to eliminate the onset of the disease and rid it from the body. For obese patients, it is more effective and reduces the daily intake of insulin and other medications for up to three years after a successful surgery.

Gastric Bypass and High Blood Pressure

Numerous activities increase your chances of developing high blood pressure, such as having a diet high in salt or cholesterol. Other conditions that may contribute to a high BP are chronic illnesses like diabetes, kidney problems, or hereditary condition.

Having on some extra pounds could also contribute as your body might be lethargic and does not work out too often. After doing the surgery, your diet will be altered to consume less salt and fat-based foods. Also, circulation will improve, and your stress levels might also be improved.

Gastric Bypass and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common thing for many people, especially those who might be obese or have extra pounds than what their age and height required. Many factors cause the condition, and many people are sometimes required to use a CPAP machine while they sleep.

The idea of having your breathing following an irregular pattern of on and off during sleep can be a serious issue and should be treated to avoid further complications. Gastric bypass helps the body to lose extra weight and improve the other areas of the body.

Research has shown that more than 80 percent of people who do the surgery have had their sleep apnea disappear.

How much will the surgery cost after Medicare?

How much will the surgery cost after Medicare?

Individuals enrolled under Medicare are expected to pay deductibles for coverage to take effect. In 2021, the deductible for Part A amounted to $1,484, while the deductible for Part B was at $203.

Under Part B, patients are also expected to contribute a copay equivalent to 20% of the service’s original cost. For example, if the surgery costs $25,000, the patient would still be required to contribute $5,000 on top of their deductibles.

The cost of surgery under Medicare Advantage will vary depending on the chosen provider. It must be noted that Advantage plans are legally required to set a maximum out-of-pocket spending limit less than or equal to $7,550.

What are my other insurance options?

If you’re too young to qualify for Medicare, check whether your state’s Medicaid programs cover weight loss surgery. Medicaid Tenessee, for example, can cover gastric bypass, gastric sleeves, lap gastric bands, and duodenal switch surgery if the patient meets certain requirements. Patients are required to have a psychological evaluation and at least 5 years of documented history proving morbid obesity.

You can also shop for a private health insurance plan. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, 23 states now require insurance plans to include weight loss surgery. Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, and Virginia also have state laws that mandate morbid obesity coverage.

Medicare is a useful tool for older adults who want to decrease the cost of healthcare expenses. Adults suffering from obesity and attributed health conditions can leverage Medicare to get the most effective recovery options at a reduced cost.

gastric bypass surgery

For more information on weight loss surgeries, check out our posts at Gastric Bypass Gal.

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How Much Weight Can I Lose With Gastric Bypass?

How Much Weight Can I Lose? Isn’t that the question of the day when looking at undertaking this adventure? It is no longer a secret that it is not the easiest thing to lose weight, especially when trying to balance work life, home life, and social life. Either you skipped a meal from your diet plan and substituted it with a chocolate bar because your blood sugar dropped, or you worked late and missed four gym sessions consecutively.

How Much Weight Can I Lose With Gastric Bypass? article cover image of a scale with feet on it

Either way, you are packing on the pounds, and you are no longer comfortable with how you look. So, here you find yourself at the doctor’s office, wanting to find out as much as you can about gastric bypass and if it is the best solution to your problems.

For sure, you would have seen the many stories of people who did the surgery and have gone through their different experiences. Aside from the few drawbacks to doing the surgery, we have to admit some amazing weight-loss stories out there that come as an inspiration to many people who are pondering the procedure.

How Much Weight Can I Lose With Gastric Bypass?

There are undoubtedly some important questions that are asked and based as it relates to the results one can achieve. Some of the most frequently asked questions include…  

The first point in a discussion about weight-loss is…how many pounds will I lose right away? Just as this question is asked for other weight-loss methods, gastric bypass gets the same drilling with questions. Undergoing such a technical surgery means the results should be worthwhile.

Based on the numerous research made, there is an indication that within the first 30 days of the operation, some patients have the potential to lose anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds per. Interestingly, men have a faster weight-loss average than women, but it all goes back to the metabolism of both genders. In essence, after a month, patients lose an estimated 10-15 percent of their entire body weight.

How Much Weight Do You Lose 6 Months After Gastric Sleeve?

Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are weight-loss surgeries that have many similarities and a major goal in mind – helping the patient lose weight. Gastric sleeve is a little simpler than gastric bypass as it is a one-step process compared to the other, which is a two-step process.

This procedure involves removing a part of the stomach, ghrelin, responsible for sending “hunger alerts” to the brain. After a successful surgery, the patient has a smaller stomach, making it harder to eat large amounts of food. In the process, the patient has the ability to lose quite a large amount of excess body weight.

For gastric sleeve surgery, many patients have in common that the first few months always tend to work out better at weight loss compared to the months further in. It is believed the eating structure is responsible for this as well as many believe the excess weight loss is usually water weight. However, if a patient is placed on fasting before the surgery, then it means the water weight would have already gone before the end of the first month.

Usually, the first six months after a gastric sleeve operation, the estimated weight loss averages around 70 pounds. However, after this period, patients are generally pumped back into motion as the weight loss seems to slow down in the long-term months. Regular exercise and strict dieting will help to keep the numbers high.

How Much Weight Can I Lose with a planner and tape m easure

What Percent of Gastric Bypass Patients Gain the Weight Back?

Reports detailing the number of bariatric patients who regained their weight post-op show a high figure of between 40-50%. This may sound like a harsh figure, but in reality, many patients experience a plateau when it comes to weight loss, especially after 18 months.

To keep the average weight-loss going, one must be determined and stick to an effective diet plan coupled with regular exercise. Many patients believe doing the surgery is enough to keep the weight off, seeing they are eating less. However, it is not so much eating less but consuming fewer calories, so it is all about the food choices.

Is It Possible To Not Lose Weight After a Gastric Bypass?  

A patient usually loses a good amount of weight during the first few months after a successful bariatric surgery. However, after a few months in, some patients may realize they have re-added all the weight, and sometimes even more.

Bear in mind, immediately after the surgery, your calorie intake will drastically decrease, and as your body gets used to it, the excess body fat will gradually reduce. However, what many people are not aware of is that once the body gets used to the changes, it starts to function differently. In most cases, patients have to adjust their eating and workout habits to reduce the chances of having stagnation where it concerns losing weight.

Both gastric bypass and gastric sleeve have their added benefits when it comes to losing weight. However, what many patients need to realize is that it takes more than a smaller stomach to make one lose weight, but persistence is a must. We will admit that it’s not always easy to keep one lifestyle going without slipping at times, but it is important to be mindful of the “slips” and not make it a regular thing.  

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Constipation and Gastric Bypass: How to Fix It

Constipation and Gastric Bypass. Just. Ugh. Gastric bypass is known to alter how a patient lives their lives in the future as they can no longer do everything they could before the surgery. The diet changes, their way of life is adjusted to suit the new normal, the wardrobe is adjusted, and every other feature of their daily lives has a new experience. There are many advantages of doing a bariatric surgery; however, there are some drawbacks that many people are not aware of that seem to be a puzzle for them.

Constipation and Gastric Bypass: How to Fix It article cover image of a guy on a toilet

Take, for instance, constipation. This is a major factor that many people are not sure how to respond to when they experience it. Gastric bypass surgery is a technical issue that needs to be fully explained before, during, and after the procedure is done. Often, patients have to run back to their doctors to get help when they encounter a situation like constipation. What should they do? How can they prevent it? Or, how can they relieve the discomfort if it happens?

Constipation and Gastric Bypass: How to Fix It

We have done in-depth research on how to handle these situations, and you will get a clearer understanding as you read on.  

What Helps Constipation After Bariatric Surgery?  

Most patients have detailed their experience with having a higher level of constipation after their bariatric surgery. It could be due to your body trying to adjust to the smaller intake of food and the hormonal changes in your body. Another factor could be that you are consuming less water daily than your usual amounts.

Constipation occurs when your stool becomes too hard, or there is limited bowel movement for a period of time. But for many people, no bowel movement in a day could result in constant pain and discomfort. For those who have had weight-loss surgery, there is a higher chance of being constipated as the body realizes there is less food and fluid intake. So, should this happen, here are a few steps one can use to get some relief…

Drink More Water

Water can flush one’s system of all waste and undigested elements and prevent dehydration. Once these two issues are corrected, the chances of being constipated will be reduced. If you are physically active throughout the day, it is recommended you drink at least eight glasses of water for that period.

Constipation and Gastric Bypass: Keep Active

Exercising plays a critical role in keeping your body active, and in the process, you burn calories and excrete toxins from your body. These active movements – including lots of strength-training workouts – encourage bowel movements and reduce the chances of discomfort.

Increase Fiber Intake

If you are on a set diet plan, you may want to speak with your doctor or dietician about increasing your fiber intake to help with bowel movements. Fruits and vegetables have high amounts of fiber, as well as some fiber-infused cereals you could drop in at breakfast time. You could also ask your doctor about fiber supplements you can take for those who have had a bariatric procedure and are taking vitamins and supplements.

Vitamin C Works

Vitamin C does a lot for you in easing constipation and helps your body absorb the many other minerals and vitamins. You can opt for more citrus fruits or ask your doctor about optional Vitamin C supplements.

Don’t Delay Bathroom Calls

When you have the slightest feeling of going to the bathroom, ensure you get to it right away and don’t delay. Putting it off could lead to further discomfort and worsen the constipation issues.

Squatty Potty & Constipation after WLS | Gastric Bypass, VSG, Duodenal Switch Weight Loss Surgery

Can You Take Laxatives After a Gastric Bypass?

Laxatives may seem like a convenient option for bariatric patients when they do not have any bowel movements. However, before one is taken, it is highly recommended to speak with your doctor about all the possible options. Bear in mind, not all lack of bowel movement is because gastric bypass was done, so you want to be careful before consuming them.

However, in most cases, if there is a time-lapse, say three days, without any movement, and you are experiencing discomfort, your doctor may recommend options like milk of magnesia or general laxative tablets.

Can You Take Metamucil After Gastric Bypass?

Based on research, Metamucil is an effective option to help if you get constipated after gastric bypass. You can opt for the gummy pills or alternative fiber supplements, but ensure you keep active throughout the day after taking them to help it work faster to cause a bowel movement. Drinking lots of water with Metamucil will help it work faster throughout your system and not get lodged in place.

How Do You Stimulate a Bowel Movement?

There are numerous ways to stimulate bowel movements, such as drinking more water and eating rich fiber foods. However, people can stimulate a bowel movement by inserting a lubricated finger into the anus and moving it in a circular motion until the sphincter muscle relaxes. After completing this process, try to get in a sitting position, and for those who are probably confined to a lying position, try lying on the left side.  

Constipation and Gastric Bypass: What Drinks Make You Poop?

Many people opt for food or fluids that help with bowel movement after bariatric surgery instead of taking laxatives. So, what fluids are the most effective in helping one to head to the toilet? You can try any of these…

* Apple Juice

Apple contains lots of fiber and can aid in relieving constipation. However, try to avoid making applesauce into a liquid as this contains more pectin than the regular apple juice and rather makes your stool hard and firm.

* Prune Juice

The fiber contained in a small quantity of prune juice could be higher than your daily fiber recommended intake, thus making a great option to work with to get your stool loose.

* Pear Juice

Pear contains a lot of sorbitol, making your stool soft and easier to pass. Consuming a small glass should be effective, even though more can be consumed.

What Foods Make You Poop Right Away?

For the most part, if you are constipated, it is highly recommended to consume more fruits and vegetables as they contain a high amount of fiber which is good to relieve bouts of constipation. Some of the more effective fruits and vegetables include apple, pear, prune, flax seed, kiwi, artichokes, and fig. You can also add some sweet potatoes and oat-bran foods to your diet as the fiber content is relatively high.

Constipation has happened to just about everyone at some point in time, and these have proven to be the most effective ways recommended by medical experts, to work.  

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All You Need to Know About Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome

Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome. Just. Ugh. Many things happen to the body after gastric bypass surgery, because we are changing the simple system of how our food is ingested. There obviously have to be some changes, and things to consider going forward.

All You Need to Know  About Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome article cover image with a dump truck emptying a load

Besides the usual less food and fluid consumption, constipation, and other bloated feelings, numerous patients note they have a strange feeling each time they eat. So, what could be the natural cause of this problem? For a fact, not all patients experience the same issues even though the symptoms are the same, so it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider so they can make a proper diagnosis.

Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome

One of the more common issues experienced by patients is Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome. Reports indicate that an average of 1 in 5 or even 1 in 2 persons may experience this problem. Sounds strange? Well, let us take a journey into finding out what it is…

What is Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome?

Dumping Syndrome is when food is apparently “dumped” straight to the small intestine from the stomach without being digested. Patients are known to experience two types of dumping syndrome…early and late.

Between 10 to 30 minutes after eating, some patients may experience what is referred to as early dumping, while late dumping usually occurs anywhere from 1 to 3 hours after eating. However, the symptoms for both are not necessarily the same.

What Triggers Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome?

Early dumping happens when a large mass of food is directed straight to the small intestine without going through the due digestive process. For some reason, the intestines realize the food mass is too concentrated and, in the process, releases gut hormones.

When this happens, the body shifts fluid circulating through the bloodstream into the small intestine and leads the intestine to feel bloated and full. Within 30 to 60 minutes after this happens, patients can expect diarrhea to occur. In addition to these occurrences, the intestine releases certain substances that affect how the heart operates, leading to patients becoming light-headed or even fainting.

On the other hand, late dumping occurs a few hours after eating and is a result of the rapid rise and fall in one’s blood sugar levels. Late dumping may occur if you consume too much food that is high in sugar and starches or simple carbohydrates. The high levels of fructose or sucrose you intake may cause the insulin level in your body to rise too high and, in turn, lower your blood sugar levels.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dumping Syndrome?  

The interesting yet worrying thing about gastric bypass is that many issues one experiences could be misdiagnosed as the signs and symptoms are generally the same. For those who have dumping syndrome, they could experience issues like:

Early Dumping…

  • Moderate or high stomach cramps and pain
  • Stomach growling or rumbling
  • Extreme sweating
  • Facial flushing
  • Nausea
  • The urge to lie down immediately after eating
  • Heart palpitations and fast heartbeat
  • Feeling full and bloated after consuming small portions of food
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Diarrhea

Late Dumping…

  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Extreme sweating
  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Tremors
  • Heart palpitations

Take note, reports have indicated that 1 in every four bariatric patients may experience one or both dumping syndromes. Besides, speaking with your doctor will give a better diagnosis of the problem, and noting the foods you have each time it happens should also be a part of the discussion.

Pathology, types, symptoms and management of dumping syndrome.

How To Prevent and Fix Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome

By far, the most effective way to avoid dumping syndrome after your surgery is to remove foods high in fat, sugar, and light carbohydrates. Some of these may include sugary fruit drinks and sodas, alcohol, pastries, cookies, candy, and most dairy products.

You can easily opt for foods high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables and any other type of foods that encourage healthy digestion. Besides, water does a lot for the digestion process, so it should never be left out of your daily fluid consumption. Other proactive measures you can help to prevent or fix dumping syndrome problems include…

*Avoid drinking water up to 45 minutes after eating

* Instead of eating a bulk of food in one go, try making them into smaller meals. The mission is to consume a certain number of calories per day, and sharing your meals across six different times won’t reduce or increase this quota.  

* Try to go for complex carbohydrates instead of simple options. Whole grains are a great choice and are better options than foods made from white flour and sugar.

* You can opt to add more protein and healthy fats to your diet

* If you have a dairy product each time, it leaves you with the problem, it is best to eliminate it from your diet completely.

An important point to note is that some medical experts have noted patients can add a little thickness to their food, such as adding pectin or guar gum. However, not many people are keen on those additives, so they go without them.

If you have made the necessary changes to your diet and there is still no improvement, you need to make your doctor aware. They may prescribe slow-release medicines, which have a 50-50 chance of working or not. In the case it worsens or doesn’t change with any of the above options, your doctor may recommend doing corrective surgery or tube feeding.

Gastric bypass dumping syndrome is a regular thing for patients and can be treated with simple steps. However, seeing many of the issues associated with the surgery are similar, it is highly recommended you go to your doctor for a proper diagnosis as you do not want to compound the problem by self-medicating based on assumptions. 

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Gastric Bypass and Vitamin Deficiency: What to Expect

Gastric Bypass and Vitamin Deficiency? Gastric bypass alters everything about the body, from the way you eat, function, and engage in certain activities. It has many advantages and disadvantages to doing the operation, and people have had various experiences even years after they have done the surgery.

Gastric Bypass and Vitamin Deficiency: What to Expect article cover image of a pill and produce

One of the major factors discussed by those who have done the surgery and those who are considering it is – vitamins and other nutrients deficiency. Bear in mind, diets will be altered after the surgery, and as such, certain foods will no longer be appetizing to the patient. This will result in many nutrients being missing from the diet, and then again…it can be a little hard as not all vitamins can be taken or as often as you normally do.

Gastric Bypass and Vitamin Deficiency: What to Expect

After gastric bypass, most patients have noted their problems with vitamin B12 deficiency, and when this happens, other complications will develop, such as anemia, which is extreme weakness and fatigue. Other issues include cognitive and neuropathy difficulties.

What Happens When Bariatric Patients Don’t Take Vitamins?  

For the most part, gastric bypass can be good, but the procedure is putting restrictive barriers on the intestines could have long-term nutritional drawbacks. One of the best ways to ensure the right amounts of nutrients enter the body is conducting post-surgery monitoring and medical check-ups. When a patient does not take enough vitamins, their body will get so weak and drained, which will lead to further medical issues. The body’s function will be reduced as there are lowered cognitive abilities that help the patients get around easily and proactively. Also, limited vitamin intake means patients will suffer from extreme anemia and memory loss due to neurological complications. Seeing your body has undergone a major change, lack of sufficient vitamins means patients are at risk of developing bone and kidney disease because the body can no longer absorb critical vitamins like calcium.

What Vitamins Do Bariatric Patients Need?

After gastric bypass, patients are required to take their vitamins to help supplement their small food intake. Doctors provide their patients with critical care packages and modules for them to follow after the surgery to help their bodies stay in shape. Doctors highly recommend gastric bypass patients to ensure they get enough Vitamin B12, calcium with Vitamin D, multivitamin, Vitamin D, and iron with Vitamin C. Bear in mind, the amounts of food one intake after the surgery is relatively low and with the body now harder to absorb certain Vitamins, one has to be careful how they operate.

Can Bariatric Patients Take Gummy Vitamins?

We will start by saying avoid these vitamin options and opt for something more efficient and effective. Gummy vitamins do not contain as many nutrients as your body would need to function efficiently. After gastric bypass, you may want to avoid excess sugar as this can lead to nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and many other digestive issues. As for gummy vitamins, they contain a lot of food coloring, and this, too, is something you really want to avoid at all costs. Besides, these options do not have enough vitamins that are essentially effective in helping your body. Furthermore, if you are already taking select vitamins recommended by your health practitioner, it is not a wise decision to over-take any form of supplements – your body no longer absorbs as it used to, and the excess might be diverted elsewhere and cause problems.

Gastric Bypass and Vitamin Deficiency: Which Bariatric Vitamin Is Best?  

Doing gastric bypass means you no longer operate the same as before when eating and taking your required vitamins quantity. After your medical procedure, it is recommended to take high-potency vitamins, which contain certain mg – 400 mcg of folic acid, 18 mg of iron, inc, and copper. This should be taken daily or as recommended by your doctor. Numerous brands offer vitamins with these nutrient quantities. Bear in mind, you may have to take various types of vitamins for the rest of your life.

Why Do Gastric Bypass Patients Need B12?

After doing gastric bypass, patients have to be mindful that they have to take vitamin supplements to help keep their bodies going. One such essential nutrient is Vitamin B12. So, how important is this Vitamin to the body? Vitamin B12 helps the body in terms of improving the health status of the nervous system as well as the blood cells. It is essential in making DNA, which is the genetic material found in each cell. This Vitamin is also vital in preventing anemia, which can make patients extremely weak and tired if not treated. Take note, gastric bypass decreases the ability to digest food as easily as before, and as such, deficiency in vital Vitamins could be a bad sign. The stomach acid helps to absorb Vitamin B12 from food such as meat but seeing the body produces less stomach acid and food intake is less, the amount of B12 in the body will lower just the same.

How Much B12 Should Bariatric Patients Take?

Bariatric patients’ bodies function differently after the procedure has been done successfully. Therefore, the right amounts of Vitamins are needed to help function effectively. After the surgery, doctors recommend patients take an estimated 500 mcg of Vitamin B12 per day. The body needs enough of this Vitamin, and when searching for the best options, recommendations detail that B-12 that can dissolve easily is the best choice – whether chewable tablets or those that melt in the mouth.  

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Best Clothes to Hide Extra Skin After Gastric Bypass

Hide Extra Skin After Gastric Bypass? I know – it seems like a strange thing to think about, but it IS a factor for many people until their weight has leveled off and they check into skin removal surgery.

Best Clothes to Hide Extra Skin After Gastric Bypass picture of arm with really loose skin

Gastric bypass surgery is slowly becoming one of the most sought-after ways to lose difficult to budge weight. The time used for excessive exercising is gradually being incorporated into taking care of other life duties. Also, many people find it practically hard to lose weight with regular gym visits and dieting.

However, with gastric bypass, they have a new way – a new tool for achieving the desired results. But, there is one physical evidence many people wish to get rid of that is not always so easy to deal with… excess body skin that was stretched to hold that vanishing fat. How does one naturally get rid of it without having to go through a rough procedure once again? Clothes, perhaps?

Best Clothes to Hide Extra Skin After Gastric Bypass

Comfort is everything when you can walk around freely and not have the evidence of a weight-loss surgery hanging onto you. Many people opt for medical procedures to have the extra skin removed, while others wear select clothing to conceal it.

For the most part, clothes play an integral role in helping you hide the excess skin, but there are certain types you have to avoid…You don’t want to wear anything too tight as the only outfit…as this will show up the excess body skin in a rough way.

We lost the weight to eliminate the bulges and bumps – it stinks to have to tuck parts of your body in and try to smooth them over while trying to avoid the gathers and rolls being visible.

Of course, some people don’t mind as they accept how their bodies are, no matter what it has gone through. Furthermore, tight clothing may not be ideal as seeing your body is in a recovery mode, comfort is of maximum importance.

What Clothing Type To Wear After Gastric Bypass

Compression Clothing

When choosing to wear concealing clothes, select close-fitting can come in the form of compression clothing you would wear under your regular outfit. These types of clothes will help to keep the excess skin from hanging over. Compression clothing aids in keeping your skin intact to avoid excessive rubbing, leading to further health issues like blisters and chafing.

Body Shapers

Shapers work well to keep the excess body skin out of the way and give you the advantage of wearing any clothes that make you feel comfortable.  

Can You Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss?

One of the major concerns people have when it comes to bariatric surgery is getting rid of the excess skin when the weight loss results start to kick in. But, there are safe ways to remove the excess skin, tighten it, or work around it. Some of the simplest and most efficient ways to tighten include…  

Body Wraps

You can visit any spa or skin treatment clinic to get body Wraps applied to help tighten loose skin. Your doctor may also appoint over-the-counter cream and ointments you can use as well. But who says you can’t get into the DIY mode? Making the wrap is relatively easy as all you need is 1/2 cup of Epsom salt, some warm water, and essential oils like lavender and almond oil.

Add the Epsom salt to the warm water and stir until the salt is fully dissolved. You then add the oils and stir in until the desired mixing is achieved. Soak a towel or sheet (preferably one that is thin and won’t bulge under your clothes) and add it to your body. You can use plastic wrap or close-fitting clothing to help keep it in position. However, you want to be mindful that it is not a wrap to add to your body when going to bed, as the purpose is to help you sweat and burn the fat off.

I kind of feel “meh” about them and like they didn’t really make any difference.



For those who lose a small amount of weight, the skin has the ability to get back into shape on its own by retracting, and with the aid of natural remedies, it will be gone in no time. However, for those who have lost a massive amount, the story is not the same. In most cases, bariatric patients have to do a body-contouring surgery, which is redirecting body fat from one area to another or getting rid of it completely.  

Also common is skin-removal surgery. This is usually around the belly, fanny, thighs, and upper arms. Granted, you can’t do all areas at the same time. Usually, a plastic surgeon will let you do 2-3 procedures at once, if they feel the time on the table is acceptable.

Most insurance companies will pay for the tummy tuck if you have documentation of rashes, skin problems, etc – the additional procedures might have to come out of your own pocket. In those cases, it pays to “stack” surgeries as the insurance is already paying for anesthesia, the surgical room, etc.


In reality, exercise can only get you to a distance, but much more is required. Bear in mind, the weight-loss time you took to lose that much weight is something your body is not used to, and the same level of workout you once had will not work going forward. Exercise works in hand with many other strategies, such as with the wraps that help you to burn more calories as you sweat.

How Do You Avoid Hanging Skin After a Gastric Bypass?

Sagging or hanging skin is a major issue for those who have had gastric bypass surgery as they really wouldn’t want the entire world in their personal business. One of the most proven and effective ways to balance sagging skin is by taking proper care of your skin and body overall.

Also, you could ask your doctor to recommend a cream that you could use to help achieve this goal. There are many options to choose from, but to date, those that contain collagen and elastin are the better choices.

How Can I Hide Excess Skin On My Stomach?

The stomach seems to know how to annoy people, especially females, as it tends to stay in its position even when you lose weight on other parts of the body. Countless measures are tried sometimes to get rid of or hide the excess weight on the tummy, but most times, only extreme weight-loss methods can yield the results needed.

Interestingly, there are ways other than surgery to help you hide excess stomach skin, such as through select exercising. Doing lots of crunches, squats, and cardio workouts will help you achieve the goals you desire. However, though it may not necessarily “remove” all the skin per se, it helps to conceal it uniquely.

The trick to all of this is knowing ahead of time. A good surgical team will educate you on all the good, bad, and ugly parts of life after surgery.

For those who cross the border to get their surgery? The bariatric procedure sure has a lot going on for it to keep some patients in the dark as to how to handle the after-effects of the surgery. There are numerous ways to help you get back in shape, lose the excess skin caused by the rapid weight loss, and feel comfortable living your best life in the future.

Whatever option you choose to work with, they have all proven to achieve the desired results you may need. However, please note that not all options work the same for everyone, but they all work. 

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Top Gastric Bypass Pros and Cons of Surgery

Gastric Bypass Pros and Cons? Gastric Bypass is a weight loss surgery that has both positive and negative factors associated with it. It is intended to achieve the ulterior goal of shedding weight effectively, especially for those who find it very hard to lose weight “naturally.” But, interestingly, gastric bypass is not only used to shed weight but also to improve other aspects of the body.

Top Gastric Bypass Pros and Cons of Surgery picture of a surgery in process

Obesity can have a terrible effect on an individual as it contributes to joint pains, emotional and psychological distress, and so much more. But with each negative feature, there is a positive side to the lifestyle change.

Gastric Bypass Pros and Cons

For those who have done gastric bypass, the experience may vary both during the operation and after. However, one common factor is that the first 1-2 years after the surgery should be used as an “adjustment” period. So, when you weigh both sides of the operation…what are you up against?

Advantages of Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass has numerous benefits for the body – both directly and indirectly. One of the major advantages is that you are offered the chance to shed excess weight that may have been harmful to your health. So, aside from losing weight, here are some of the other health benefits of gastric bypass…

Reduce Chances of Heart Attack

Being overweight is a disaster for you as this increases cardiac issues and your chance of getting a heart attack. Not eliminating the fact that slim people can’t get heart failure, but the chances of this happening are relatively low.

With heavy weight and body mass, the heart is placed under immense pressure to allow blood circulation efficiently; thus, the heart is affected by the lack of oxygen and blood. Also, the body is not flexible, which increases the risk of too much pressure. Having a successful gastric bypass surgery will help your cholesterol to lower and your blood circulation to improve.

Gastric Bypass and High Blood Pressure

Numerous activities increase your chances of developing high blood pressure, such as having a diet high in salt or cholesterol. Other conditions that may contribute to a high BP are chronic illnesses like diabetes, kidney problems, or hereditary condition.

Having on some extra pounds could also contribute as your body might be lethargic and does not work out too often. After doing the surgery, your diet will be altered to consume less salt and fat-based foods. Also, circulation will improve, and your stress levels might also be improved.

Pros and Cons of Weight Loss Surgery Video – Report

Gastric Bypass and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common thing for many people, especially those who might be obese or have extra pounds than what their age and height required. Many factors cause the condition, and many people are sometimes required to use a CPAP machine while they sleep.

The idea of having your breathing following an irregular pattern of on and off during sleep can be a serious issue and should be treated to avoid further complications. Gastric bypass helps the body to lose extra weight and improve the other areas of the body.

Research has shown that more than 80 percent of people who do the surgery have had their sleep apnea disappear.

Type 2 Diabetes

There are generally two types of diabetes…type 1 and 2…and even though reports show type 2 to be a little milder than type one, it still can cause some serious health conditions.

Based on reports, gastric bypass surgery has shown that it has the ability to eliminate the onset of the disease and rid it from the body. For obese patients, it is more effective and reduces the daily intake of insulin and other medications for up to three years after a successful surgery.

There are many other advantages of gastric bypass surgery for patients to experience aside from those detailed above, but those are the top of the list!

Disadvantages of Gastric Bypass

With every advantage one experiences from a condition, there might be a few negatives or drawbacks associated with it. For those who have done gastric bypass or those desiring to do the operation, here are a few disadvantages you might experience…

Gastric Bypass and Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is more commonly called heartburn, pyrosis, or acid indigestion and is the process by which acidic stomach juice goes back up into the esophagus. The feeling can be quite uncomfortable and comes most times with a burning sensation.

When an individual does gastric bypass, the potential of developing or increasing the levels of acid reflux is in high gear. It may not happen directly following the surgery but can develop a few years later down the line. After all, eating will be severely altered; thus, digestion will also be completely different.  

Chronic Nausea and Vomiting

Having an efficient digestive system is critical in reducing the chances of vomiting from poor digestion and nausea. After doing gastric bypass, the chances of having constant nausea and increased vomiting will become a normal factor you have to deal with.

Eating will be altered and in small quantities for the most part, so, even at points when you might feel hungry, the feeling your stomach sends off might leave you losing your appetite.  

Gastric Bypass Complications – Mayo Clinic Video

Gastric Bypass and Dilation of Esophagus

Gastric Bypass surgery might result in esophageal dilation, which is the process of stretching a narrowed area of the esophagus, more commonly called the swelling tube. Doctors may use various ways to get the procedures done, which will not result in the most comfortable feeling.  

Inability to Eat Certain Foods

This is the part that causes many people to regret doing the procedure in the first place. After gastric bypass surgery, your favorite food may now be rejected as you no longer have an appetite to eat it, and even the smell tends to turn you off.

In reality, seeing your “food bag” or “pouch” is now much smaller, you will eat less, which means a lot of food will have to be left out, and supplements have to be taken in other forms to get certain nutrients.

I can no longer stand Gyros.

Gastric Bypass and Infection

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are common, and many people experience this problem after doing certain surgeries. For gastric bypass, the rate of those who experience these infections is relatively high – up to 15 percent.

Certainly, this may seem like a small amount, but due to the developing complications it comes with, the numbers are high. Besides, SSIs mainly happen when people who are obese do surgeries, and gastric bypass is one such.

Weight Fluctuation

The main goal of gastric bypass is to help the patient lose weight or find a way to stabilize their weight. However, not all patients who do the surgery actually see the intended result as either their weight increases or they don’t lose weight. It might sound strange to many that one can actually gain weight after the surgery, but it is quite possible based on your new diet.

Bear in mind, if you were up to 300 pounds before the surgery and cut down to 200 or 150, you can’t eat the same amount of calories and expect to lose weight. Even though you are eating less, food choice plays an integral role.

You need to really follow your doctor’s instructions, not drink when you eat, balance carbs and protein, as well as watching your portion sizes. This is a TOOL that you will have to actually use and many do not.

Gastric Bypass and Obstruction of Stomach

This is by far one of the most feared complications developed after gastric bypass surgery and one of the reasons many people reconsider doing the operation. Small bowel obstruction (SBO) can become chronic or acute, and if not careful, it can result in a life-threatening issue. It could be a result of an internal hernia.

The bottom line? You need to do your research before any major surgery. Balance the Gastric Bypass Pros and Cons, talk to your surgical team, and make an educated decision.

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Gastric Bypass Complications: What to Look Out For

Gastric Bypass Complications? Gastric bypass is when the stomach is altered to limit the amount of food one intake to aid in one’s weight loss process. However, it has a lot to it that many people may not know, even some people who have gone through the procedure.

What Complications Can Occur After Gastric Bypass Surgery article cover image of surgical tools

It takes lots of research to understand how the process works fully, and to get the best results, medical guidelines should be followed at all costs. There are steps to follow leading up to surgery, during the surgery, and post-surgery as well.

Gastric Bypass Complications: What to Look Out For

There are many questions one asks regarding gastric bypass surgery, and the answers differ based on the source. We have done our research from authentic sources and have some answers and solutions for the most commonly asked questions…

What Percentage of Gastric Bypass Patients Have Complications?

Hundreds of thousands of people perform gastric bypass surgery each year, and the response to it differs for just about everyone. The sad part about it is that many people did the surgery and later develop complications. If you ask us…this is a recipe for disaster.

Whether it is minor or serious, complications after surgery can greatly impact someone’s life going forward. Medical reports indicate that between 10 to 20 percent of people who have had the surgery done needed follow-up consultations with their health professionals to correct some complications.

Bear in mind, it is a technical surgery, and should there be a misstep at any stage of the operation, that could mean trouble for the patient…and factored in are the surgeries that are done across the border. Most of those services are a “one and done” event instead of a relationship built with a surgical team for pre and post-surgery care.

What Complications Can Occur After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gastric bypass is done by persons for many different reasons aside from losing weight – meaning, other health benefits. However, with the good sides of the operation, there can be some negative aspects such as developing complications after it is done. Multiple complications can be experienced after the surgery to include…

Gastric Bypass Complications:Infection

This is by far the most common complication for people who have had gastric bypass. Countless people have noted that after their surgery (both short-term and long-term), they notice they feel excruciating pains and do not necessarily know what the cause is.

After further assessment and checks, there is an infection that may have been caused by leakage, either through the staples or the sutures. This leakage problem, if left untreated, can result in further health risks for the person.

The condition is known as Anastomotic Leak and is a condition where digestive juice or digested food leaks through an anastomosis. Leaks occur in people differently and could be caused mainly by the tools or materials used in operation to close the anastomosis.

It could also be due to poor blood flow or poor wound healing – which mainly happens in persons with diabetes or a history of smoking. So how can one tell they could leak? These are the most common symptoms, even though they could be as a result of other health conditions, so it is best to consult your medical practitioner: 

  • Fever
  • Fast heart rate
  • Stomach pain
  • Pain in the left shoulder region
  • Less urine
  • Fluid leaking from an incision site
  • Shortness of breath (could either be rapid breathing or overall breathing problems)  


Developing gallstones is another major complication that may follow after a gastric bypass, even though it mainly occurs in about one-third of obese people who complete the procedure.

Gallstones are a small or relatively large build-up of cholesterol and other matters that form in the gallbladder. A person’s risk of developing gallstones comes when their bodies experience rapid weight loss. To help reduce the chances of gallstones, your doctor may recommend taking bile salts for an average of six months after the surgery or issue a medication called Ursodiol.

Nutritional Deficiency

This is another common complication one may experience after gastric bypass but can be avoided if the recommended doses of vitamins are regularly taken. The nutritional deficiencies mostly experienced are anemia, metabolic bone disease, and osteoporosis.

This complication could be a serious issue, especially for women who decide to have their children before the recommended 18-month waiting period. During this time, a woman’s weight is unstable, and a lack of proper nutrients and rapid weight loss can be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the developing fetus.

How Do You Know If You Have a Stricture After a Gastric Bypass?

There is still on-going research as to why gastric bypass patients develop a stricture after the procedure. So, what is it? An anastomotic stricture occurs when the connection between the stomach pouch and the small intestine begins to heal.

In the process, the passage gets smaller and makes eating more difficult. A few factors contribute to this happening, such as having a scar; using staples to close the area instead of stitches; poor blood circulation in the area; and sores or ulcers, which might be caused by smoking or consumption of aspirin and NSAIDs medications.

Reports indicate that only about 3 to five percent of bariatric patients experience this complication. There are certain signs and symptoms to look out for after your surgery to determine if you are experiencing stenosis. These include but are not limited to:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Nausea
  • Problems eating certain types of food
  • Vomiting undigested food right after eating
  • Feeling full in the upper middle abdomen right after eating 

Once you experience any of these symptoms, it is highly recommended that you visit your doctor right away. He or she will do a thorough assessment to make a proper diagnosis. You will go through a testing process known as an upper GI series, which involves using x-rays and contrast dye that you intake.

This process will help determine if you have developed a stricture or the feeling caused by other complications. A stricture can be treated through a process known as endoscopic dilation, which involves using a special balloon to aid in stretching the opening back to its original size. The drawback is, a stricture may not always be treated this way, and you may have to do surgery to get it corrected. 

What Complications Can Occur After Gastric Bypass Surgery picture of an emergency room

There is, however, a good way to have the situation prevented by following your doctor’s strict order on what to eat and when to do so. It is highly recommended you speak with your doctor before taking aspirin or NSAID medication and ensure you avoid smoking at all costs. You can get help in quitting by checking with your doctor or counselor.

When Should You Go To The ER After a Gastric Bypass?

No one desires to head out to the ER after gastric bypass as they hope for a successful surgery, recovery, and life going forward. However, some patients may experience post-surgery complications, and heading to the doctor right away is the best option.

So, what are the signs you should look out for to know when to go? Aside from the other issues like leaking, gallstones, or stricture, as noted above, other issues may arise, which starts with simple abdominal bloating, cramps, and vomiting.

These signs can be an indication of loose stool or diarrhea. This indicates there might be a bowel blockage, and if you experience these feelings for several hours…the ER should be your next stop.

Continued abdominal pains (even if it occurs with breaks) is a serious issue, and if there is limited passing or gas, you could be in the high-risk group as this is potentially life-threatening.

These are only some of the complications one may experience from gastric bypass surgery, and speaking with your healthcare provider can provide more in-depth knowledge. 

As with anything, knowledge is power. Do you homework before ANY major surgery and consult with your surgical team.

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7 Gastric Bypass Benefits Nobody Talks About

Yes, there are Gastric Bypass Benefits! Gastric bypass has become a popular thing for many people as some believe it is the only effective way for them to lose weight. Sure enough, it has helped many people based on the reports we have seen all over the internet.

7 Gastric Bypass Benefits Nobody Talks About article cover image of a pregnant woman

However, like every other form of weight-loss method, there are sides to it that shouldn’t be ignored, as well as some sides a lot of people don’t know about that are actually positive factors. We understand that one’s diet might be altered and the way one operates daily. But, aside from the positive factors associated with a gastric bypass that is detailed all over the internet…did you know some interesting ones are always not mentioned?

7 Gastric Bypass Benefits Nobody Talks About

After successful gastric bypass surgery, there are many advantages one can benefit from both for the short term and long term. During the early stages of surgery, you may not see the immediate changes as your body is trying to get used to the new normal. Let’s take a closer look at the added benefits…

Bathroom Stalls Are Easier To Maneuver

Using the bathroom can be either easy or very much complicated. Take, for instance, public bathrooms, the stalls are not always the easiest to handle. One of the best feelings is knowing you can feel comfortable using the bathroom stalls after you had gastric bypass surgery.

I know – pre-surgery, most of us used what I liked to call the “Suite”. It really was the handicap stall – with the extra room and railings. You could sit down and not have your nekkid fanny touching the stall walls – which was what happened in the “regular” booths.

You Fit Into Booths Better

Many people crave this benefit as it can be quite uncomfortable when you need to fit in a confined space, but due to your weight or size, it is impossible.

I didn’t realize what was damaging a bunch of my knit tops – until I put two and two together. Being so close to the table with my belly meant the snap on my jeans was rubbing thru my knit tops, making a hole.

It is SOOOO nice to sit in a booth and have extra breathing room. You will be surprised at how much you love it!

More Energy

When you have excess weight to deal with, it can be really hard as you get tired quite easily and cannot get as active as you want. The surgery allows you to take off the excess weight, which, in turn, improves your breathing and the overall movement of your body.

You have fewer calories to burn, so you sweat less, and this results in your body feeling less drained after you do a workout or even walk a few meters. In essence, your energy level gets a major boost. Furthermore, you have less food intake, so many of the energy-drainers found in food will be avoided or reduced.

Your body simply doesn’t have to work as hard to support and haul around that extra hundred pounds or more! Your organs are happier with less constriction too!

Increased Sex Drive

Yup – I’m going to talk about sex! Being obese can kill your vibe for so many things, and one of those that many people fear is a decreased sex drive. Obesity is known to cause many ills for the body, especially when it comes to the sexual aspect, as the body tends to produce lesser testosterone – the hormone responsible for one’s sex drive.

In addition to lower testosterone levels, the size of the penis may also decrease with obesity as the extra fat tends to grow and cover the organ’s base. Therefore, with gastric bypass, the excess weight will be gone, thus, improving one’s sexual urges… not to mention you feel better about your leaner body and want to show it off!

Watch this ONLY if you want pretty straight forward talk about Sex post surgery

Gastric Bypass Benefits: More Fertile

If your pre-surgery body had a hard time getting pregnant, this could be a major change for you! First of all, birth control pills are less effective as your body has a harder time digesting and processing pills.

One of the most popular questions asked about gastric bypass surgery, especially by women, is “Will I be able to have children?” Well, the “to-the-point-” the answer is, yes, you will be able to carry your child after the surgery but with medical assistance.

The sticky part of the situation is that many women, before the surgery, were not so fertile. Also, the chances of having a miscarriage might drastically decline, and one’s menstrual cycles improve – even if one doesn’t ovulate.

It Often Relieves Depression

Losing excess weight can do a lot for you to feel less depressed compared to when you might be obese. Obesity can result in low esteem due to poor body image and stigma associated with weight and size.

Don’t shoot the messenger, it is a fact of our current culture – people DO judge a book by its cover and when they see a person with a little extra padding? They get all judgy.

It can feed on itself: the feeling of not being comfortable enough to socialize with the general public will result in sadness that further leads to depression. Even though many people are now getting to love their body, it still the majority a better feeling when smaller.

This weight-loss method has been proven to improve patients’ emotional states, and with the new positive feedback, their self-love tends to increase.

This is one reason that it is important to have a great surgical team and psych counseling before you go under the knife.

7 Gastric Bypass Benefits Nobody Talks About joint pain

Your Joints Are Better

This might seem pretty basic: you lose weight and your body doesn’t have to work as hard to support it.

Even though gastric bypass tends to improve joint flexibility, one needs to be aware of their biomechanics.

When you have too much weight, it puts a strain on your joints, and the pressure on them becomes a painful experience. You walk and move differently to account for the extra poundage and bulk.

Once the gastric bypass is done, and the bodyweight lowers and stabilizes, you will notice fewer joint cramps and pains… but if you are still walking the way you were? You might still have issues.

Relearn to walk – check in with a chiropractor and you will be amazed at the difference! Add in the reduced chances of muscle tears and fractures? You also get the advantage of reducing the number of painkillers you normally have to take. A total win!

I know there are more Gastric Bypass Benefits that sneak up on you, like the first time you realize you have collar bones again! It is all of those subtle non-scale victories that make the process worth it.

What did YOU find as a surprise Gastric Bypass Benefit?

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