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The Side Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery

By Jacqueline Osuna, MD on June 05, 2017

A patient speaking with her doctorAfter undergoing any sort of surgery, side effects are common. In fact, they are a natural part of the healing process. The side effects that gastric bypass surgery patients experience will only be temporary, and many of them resolve on their own. We always take time to express this patients here at our Tijuana bariatric surgery center.

Side effects are different from complications, which are medical problems that arise following surgery. Complications are not part of recovery and will require immediate attention from your weight loss surgeon should they arrive. Let's take a moment to consider some of the common side effects following gastric bypass surgery.

Soreness and Discomfort

Pain and some degree of discomfort are common parts of any surgical procedure. It should come as no surprise that these issues can arise after a gastric bypass surgery. Patients will be asked to rest and to avoid strenuous physical activity in order to reduce the stress on the body and allow ample time to heal. As patients rest and recover, the pain should abate over the course of a week or so, and dissipate as recovery continues.

Bruising and Swelling

Bruising and swelling are also common side effects following a weight loss surgery procedure. The bruising and swelling is centered around the abdominal area, and typically around the incision sites. Discoloration and puffiness is not uncommon in these situations.

Major bruising and swelling lasts about two weeks, with residual discoloration and swelling fading over the course of a month or so. Patients can manage these side effects with the use of cold compresses. Walking a little bit each day after surgery can also help promote blood circulation, manage bruising and swelling, and prevent blood clots and other complications.

Short-Term Hair Thinning

One of the unexpected side effects of weight loss surgery is temporary loss of hair. A person's body reacts in different ways to the hormone and nutritional changes that accompany weight loss surgery. The hair loss and thinning can take a few weeks to occur, but the issue should resolve on its own after a few months.

Potential Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Your diet undergoes significant changes after weight loss surgery is performed, which can lead to some nutritional deficiencies early on. As you adjust to your new diet and eating habits and note what types of foods ought to be included each day, these issues with nutrition will resolve on their own.

Developing Gallstones

When someone loses a lot of weight in a short amount of time, their risk for developing gallstones increases. It's been estimated that half of all bariatric surgery patients will develop gallstones following their weight loss procedure.

If gallstones develop, they can be easily addressed and managed. If necessary, a gastric bypass patient can undergo gallbladder removal. This is common in up to 25 percent of all weight loss surgery patients.

Learn More About Gastric Bypass Surgery

For more information about the benefits of gastric bypass surgery and how it can help you lead a healthier life, be sure to contact our weight loss surgery center today. We will work with you to improve your overall health and wellness.

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