Gastric Bypass Surgeries

Gastric bypass surgeries, also known as bariatric surgery, are a treatment for individuals in need of radical weight loss. The types of surgical procedures done in gastric bypass severely limit the amount of food a person can eat. Doctors usually only perform these procedures on people who are very obese have had no luck losing weight with traditional diets and exercise, and who have serious health issues as a result of excess weight. The bypass helps a person to lose a great deal of weight in most cases by greatly decreasing the stomach capacity and the absorptive abilities of the small intestine. The types of health issues that often hinder those with excess pounds are heart disease, diabetes type II, stroke, hypertension, sleep apnea, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Gastric bypass surgeries are mostly performed using laparoscopic surgical techniques. This decreases the healing time needed because the surgical incisions are much smaller, and there is less wound area that can potentially be sites for infection. There are several types of gastric bypass surgeries, categorized by how much of the stomach is left and where the food from the stomach enters the small intestine.

Roux-en-y is the most common type of gastric bypass surgery performed. This procedure is not reversible, limits the stomach size, and bypasses the first part of the small intestine.

Biliopancreatic diversion or duodenal switch is a surgery that involves the removal of most of the stomach. The duodenum of the small intestine is connected to the ileum (last) portion of the small intestine, bypassing the jejunum or mid-section of the small intestine.

Adjustable gastric banding greatly decreases the capacity of the stomach. This type of surgery does not result in drastic weight loss like some of the other forms of surgery because the stomach size can be changed to accommodate greater portions, and the absorptive abilities of the small intestine are not altered.

Vertical banded gastroplasty, also known as stomach stapling, is not used as much anymore. This technique reduces the stomach capacity but often does not give the long-term weight loss that was intended.

Sleeve gastrectomy changes the stomach shape from a pouch to a tube. There can also be an alteration to where the stomach contents enter the small intestine, or not.

With all types of gastric bypass surgery, in the first few weeks to months the types and amounts of food and drink a person can ingest are severely reduced. The early side effects of surgery are mostly due to the decreased nutrients available to the body. These side effects are fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, body aches, feeling cold, and moodiness. Short-term complications of gastric bypass surgery are:

  • Risk of bleeding/hemorrhage

  • Anesthesia reactions

  • Blood clots

  • Death

  • Gastrointestinal leaks

  • Infection

  • Lung or breathing problems

Long-term complications of gastric bypass surgery are:

  • Dumping syndrome (vomiting after eating)

  • Bowel obstruction

  • Gallstones

  • Hernias

  • Hypoglycemia

  • Malnutrition

If you or a loved one suffered debilitating complications or harm from gastric bypass surgery, or anesthesia associated with gastric bypass surgery, you may be eligible for damages. Call the Sweeney Law Firm and let our experts review the facts to see if you have a medical malpractice case. If we take your case, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means there is no fee for representation unless a settlement or recovery of funds is made on your behalf.

To read related articles on these sites: Dumping syndrome, Laparoscopic Surgical Injury, Gallstones, Ileus