Q:

What are some gastric bypass side effects?

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Quick Answer

While gastric bypass surgery results in rapid weight loss, it has some risks, including a difficulty in the body absorbing the nutrients it needs for health, dumping syndrome and in rare instances, death, according to the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery. Before deciding to proceed with gastric bypass surgery, discuss the benefits and the risks with a doctor.

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Full Answer

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most common form of weight loss surgery, according to Mayo Clinic. It involves reducing the size of the stomach to a pouch that holds 1 ounce and is approximately the size of a walnut. After the surgery, food bypasses most of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine, reducing the nutrients the body is able to absorb. The surgery is irreversible, and some patients suffer malnutrition due to the reduction in nutrient absorption.

Patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery are also at risk for developing dumping syndrome. According to the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, 85 percent of Roux-en-Y patients experience this condition. The condition has several symptoms, including nausea and diarrhea after meals. While it is bothersome, it is not life threatening and patients are able to manage the symptoms with diet.

According to Mayo Clinic, death is both a long-term and short-term risk for individuals undergoing a gastric bypass. In both cases, the risk is low.

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