Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

What Are The Late Complications of Bariatric Surgery to Look Out For?

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
July 13, 2022
What Are The Late Complications of Bariatric Surgery to Look Out For?

With any major medical procedure, it’s important to take all potential complications into account before moving forward. It’s no different when taking bariatric surgery into consideration. While there are countless benefits to this operation, bariatric surgery also comes with its risks. For most patients, this won’t be the case. Many feel incredibly grateful they took the leap, and this decision alters their lives forever. However, it’s important to know the signs associated with late complications from bariatric surgery. If you are in the late stages of recovery from bariatric surgery, here are some signs you may be experiencing complications.

Immediate Side-Effects of Bariatric Surgery

Your surgeon should discuss potential risks and side effects with you at length prior to surgery. Full transparency, communication, and knowledge of just exactly what your operation will entail will prove vital. With that being said, here are some common short-term side-effects associated with bariatric surgery:

  • Acid reflux
  • Failure to lose weight due to complications
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Infection
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Inability to eat certain foods

While these are some common risks associated with bariatric surgery, they are not present for every patient. Side-effects will vary depending on BMI, type of operation, medical background, and pre-op preparation. Talk to your doctor about how you can best prepare for your operation. This includes following a specific pre-op diet, taking supplements, and receiving multiple consultations.

Late Complications of Bariatric Surgery: Signs to Look Out For

As far as late-stage complications go, these can be trickier to spot. When you’re a few months to a year out of surgery, it’s challenging to identify symptoms caused by your operation. This is why it’s vital to come up with a post-op plan with your team of doctors. Continue to schedule consultations, doctor visits, and work with a team of supportive professionals. This way, you can reduce the risk of complications significantly. If you feel as though something is off, remember to visit your healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Late-stage complications of bariatric surgery include, but are not limited to:

  • Dumping syndrome: This is extremely common for those who’ve undergone gastric bypass or gastric sleeve. Dumping syndrome occurs when food, particularly sugar, moves too quickly from the stomach to the small intestine. You may experience dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating, or irregular heartbeat as a result.
  • Hernias: A hernia occurs when a gap in the muscular wall allows the abdomen to protrude outward. They form when there’s a combination of pressure and weak muscle. These can be painful and will worsen over time. Remember to incorporate regular exercise and movement into your post-op recovery plan to avoid hernias from forming.
  • Bowel Obstruction: If you’re not having a bowel movement or passing gas, you likely have a bowel obstruction. This happens when something blocks either your large or small intestine, and your digestive system stops functioning. This requires immediate medical attention.
  • Low blood sugar: This is also commonly known as hypoglycemia. While experienced by many, it is also widely experienced by bariatric surgery patients. If you’re experiencing a fast heartbeat, intense hunger, sweating, dizziness, or irritability, it’s likely caused by low blood sugar. Your body will be adjusting to a lower caloric intake. Boosting lean protein and eating slowly can remedy this.

Talk to BASS Bariatric Surgery Center Today

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms post-op, please contact your healthcare provider today. Here at BASS Bariatric, we’re devoted to the long game with our patients. Not only do we work with you before your surgery, but we’re also here after, too. Our team of dedicated experts will ensure an easeful experience before, during, and after you’ve made this journey. If you’re ready to take the jump and change your life forever, contact our team today. 

About The Author

Daniel Roman, Content Writer

Daniel Roman is a Digital Content Writer at BASS Medical Group. He received his Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 2021. Daniel has published multiple newspaper articles covering public health issues. His latest was a magazine cover story on pandemics and diseases that he co-wrote with Dr. Elena Conis, a historian of medicine, public health, and the environment.

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