Sep 16 2010
Extremely obese patients are usually advised to choose bariatric surgery to lose weight instead of traditional treatments such as diet plans, weight loss pills and exercise. Though undergoing surgery might be successful for some patients, there are still reported cases where the method fails and resulted to many complications. This method of losing weight should be explained thoroughly to the patient. They should understand the procedures to be done to help them cope up easily after the operation. The patient must be aware of the changes made in the stomach and intestines, and the effects of the treatment.
Here are some side effects that patients should take into consideration before committing themselves to bariatric surgery;
Nausea and vomiting usually occurs in the first 2-3 months after the operation, as patients are getting used to their new diet and eating habits. Ignoring the signs that you are already full or eating less after bariatric surgery puts you at higher risk for vomiting and other complications. Such condition can be avoided by paying attention to the body sign of fullness, and eliminating dry and tough foods from the diet.
Dehydration after surgery occurs because of insufficient water intake of the patient. This is a very common side effect that can lead to more serious problem that may require hospitalization. Dehydration can also result to nausea and vomiting in which, persistent vomiting may also cause electrolyte imbalance and vitamin deficiency. It may furthermore cause gall balder and kidney malfunctions. Symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, dizziness, dark colored urine, low back pain and a white coating on the tongue. That’s why, patients are recommended to drink at least 64 ounces of fluid on a daily basis. In a condition that the patient is to nauseous to drink, sucking on ice chips can be regarded as a substitute.
Transient hair thinning is to be expected after surgery according to New York Universal Medical Center. This could typically transpire between 2 to 10 months after surgery. Hair loss can be minimized by taking multivitamins and supplements with zinc and biotin as well as maintaining adequate protein intake. Nonetheless, worries should be taken aside because this phase will be temporary and lost hair shall gradually grow back to normal.
Excess Skin would most likely be the end-result of dropping weight too fast. These are usually found in thighs, breast and upper arms. Although this is a good sign that you are rapidly losing the extra pounds, it will also be a physical problem to the patient. Researches have shown that, patients don’t feel physically satisfied after weight loss surgery because of this excess tissue. It can also cause skin reactions, functional limitations and cosmetic discomfort. For this reasons, patients opted to undergo cosmetic surgery to tighten this loose skin.
Food Intolerance is a probable setback after bariatric surgery. Foods that are dry, sticky, gummy, or stringy present the biggest problems. This may range from meats, roast beef, chicken. to fresh bread, peanut butter, fibrous fruits and vegetables, milk, pasta, rice and so on. This is a whole lot of food that a bariatric surgery patient will be deprived off for couple of months after the operation and will be required to eat in moderation for the rest of their lives. Avoiding too much starch and carbohydrate is also a must. Alcohol intake should also be in moderation because patient will most likely feel the effects of alcohol more quickly. Not being able to follow your physicians’ food guidelines may trigger vomiting, blockage of the stomach pouch outlet, gas and abdominal cramping.
Upper endoscopy problem may occur because of the permanent change in the anatomy of the GI tract. Laboratory test like EGD, ERCP or even laparoscopic surgery may be required in the future in order access the disconnected stomach and duodenum to detect possible ailments like ulcers, cancer, bleeding and bile duct problems.
Birth defect is one of the detrimental side effects for obese women who opted to undergo bariatric surgery then later on got pregnant. Normally obese woman experience trouble with fertility and regular menstrual cycle. Upon undergoing bariatric surgery and start losing weight, their fertility condition may also be enhanced. Thus, women with child bearing age must avoid becoming pregnant at the span of 12-18 months after the operation. The rapid weight loss and insufficient nutrients can harm a developing fetus which may cause birth defects. Nevertheless, it is also possible to have a healthy pregnancy after weight loss has been stabilized.
Cold Intolerance. This condition is the effect of the change in metabolism and loss of insulating body fat. Patients may easily feel cold as they begin losing weight.
A change in bowel habits like constipation or smaller and fewer bowel movements may be experienced by patients after operation. Such condition can be alleviated by taking more fluids, eating more fruits and vegetables, regular exercise and by taking fiber supplements and laxatives.
Dumping Syndrome is a condition that can occur due to the rapid emptying or dumping of stomach contents into the small intestines. Too much sugar intake and too much consumption of greasy foods can trigger this kind of side effect.
Pouch distention and staple-line disruption may also occur, with the same consequences of compromised weight loss in gastroplasties. Double stapling or division of the pouch from the rest of the stomach have reduced the chances of disruption, although this increases the risk of postoperative leakage and bleeding.
Other considerations such as cost should also be taken into account, because the costs of surgery differ widely according to the complexity of the operation. The full cost of the operation is unlikely to become clear until after you have been examined by the surgeon and your individual needs and requirements determined. There are insurance companies that approve benefits for the surgery if certain conditions are met, which may depend on different coverage policies. Other companies, however, have exclusion clauses for the treatment of obesity. Be sure to consider all the options before committing yourself. In an instance that you decide to pay for the operation with your own funds, keep in mind that additional expenses may be necessary to treat complications after the surgery.
Now that you know the risks and possible complications after a bariatric surgery for weight loss, it is still better to at least consider other options which are also considered effective in losing the excess weight. You can try prescription medications such as appetite suppressant pills before submitting yourself to surgical procedures.