Many complications that followed jejunoileal bypass operations performed for the relief of morbid obesity were caused by bacterial overgrowth in the excluded blind loop. The arthritis-dermatitis syndrome was one of the common distressing disorders. The pathogenetic mechanism was thought to be an immune-complex-mediated process related to bypass enteritis.
In both these variants a total of only about 35 cm (18") of normally absorptive small intestine was retained in the absorptive stream, compared with the normal length of approximately 7 meters (twenty feet). In consequence, malabsorption of carbohydrate, protein, lipids, minerals and vitamins inevitably occur, Where the end-to-side technique was used, reflux of bowel content back up the defunctionalized small intestine allowed absorption of some of the refluxed material resulting in less weight loss initially and greater subsequent weight regain.
Bile is secreted by the liver, enters the upper small intestine by way of the bile duct, and is absorbed in the small intestine. Bile has an important role in fat digestion, emulsifying fat as the first stage in its digestion. Bypassing the major site of bile acid reabsorption in the small intestine therefore further reduces fat and fat soluble vitamin absorption. As a result, huge amounts of fatty acids, which are normally absorbed in the small intestine, enter the colon where they cause irritation of the colon wall and the secretion of excessive volumes of water and electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium, leading to diarrhea. This diarrhea is the major patient complaint and has characterized jejunoileal bypass in the minds of patient and physician alike since the procedure was introduced.
Bile salts help to keep cholesterol in solution in the bile. Following JIB, the bile salt pool is decreased as a consequence of reduced absorption in the small intestine and bile salt losses in the stool. The relative cholesterol concentration in gallbladder bile rises and cholesterol crystals precipitate in the gallbladder bile, forming a nidus for development of cholesterol gallstones in the gallbladder. Specific vitamin deficiencies also occur; Vitamin D and Calcium deficiencies lead to thinning of bone with bone pain and fractures as a result of osteoporosis and osteomalacia. Bypass of the terminal ileum, which is the specific site of Vitamin B12 absorption, leads to Vitamin B12 deficiency with a specific peripheral neuropathy. Vitamin A deficiency can induce night blindness. Calcium oxalate renal stones occur commonly following JIB, along with increased colonic absorption of oxalate. The colonic absorption of oxalate has been attributed to:
Patients with intestinal bypass develop diarrhea 4-6 times daily. The frequency of stooling varying directly with fat intake. There is a general tendency for stooling to diminish with time, as the short segment of small intestine remaining in the alimentary stream increases in size and thickness, developing its capacity to absorb calories and nutrients, thus producing improvement in the patients nutrition and counterbalancing the ongoing weight loss. This happy result does not occur in every patient, but approximately one third of those undergoing "Intestinal Bypass" have a relatively benign course. Unfortunately, even this group is at risk of significant late complications, many patients developing irreversible hepatic cirrhosis several years after the procedure.
Listing of jejuno-ileal bypass complications:
Mineral and electrolyte imbalance:
Protein calorie malnutrition:
The multiple complications associated with JIB led to a search for alternative procedures, one of which was gastric bypass, a procedure that is described in detail later. In 1983 Griffen et al. reported a comprehensive series comparing the results of jejuno-ileal bypass with gastric bypass. 11 of 50 patients who underwent JIB required conversion to gastric bypass within 5 years, leading Griffen to abandon jejuno-ileal bypass.
JIB can be summed up as having: a. Good Weight Loss, b. Malabsorption with multiple deficiencies, c. Diarrhea, d. Severe Pain Issues That are not fully understood, e.Possible Death
As a consequence of all these complications, jejuno-ileal bypass is no longer a recommended Bariatric Surgical Procedure. Indeed, the current recommendation for anyone who has undergone JIB, and still has the operation intact, is to strongly consider having it taken down and converted to one of the gastric restrictive procedures.