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Gastric bypass patients may suffer unexpected complications

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2016 | Doctor Errors

Many people in Massachusetts and elsewhere who are hoping to get their weight under control opt for gastric bypass surgery. Surgery, in fact, may be an effective and lifesaving option for those with severe obesity. However, this type of surgery may also come with serious risks. Some of the complications of gastric bypass surgery may lead to chronic pain, worsened medical conditions or life-threatening situations.

According to WebMD, common minor complications after gastric bypass surgery include ulcers, bleeding from the surgical site, post-surgical infection and problems with digestion. These conditions are usually easily treated, especially if they are caught soon after they develop. However, more serious complications from a gastric bypass can be difficult to diagnose, and they tend to quickly worsen after onset. These include blood clots, severe infections, bleeding, intestinal leaks and the possibility of a heart attack.

A Danish study recently showed that post-bypass complications may be overwhelmingly common. According to Medscape, 1,429 patients were monitored after undergoing a standard Roux-en-Y bypass. Within five years after the surgery, 89 percent of the patients experienced at least one post-surgical complication, and 29 percent had to be hospitalized as a result. The most common complications included abdominal pain, anemia and fatigue. Dumping syndrome, which is having diarrhea within a half hour or so after eating, was another common complication that could significantly impact a patient’s quality of life and well-being.

At the conclusion of the study, medical professionals stated that patients may benefit if surgeons have more education to allow them to diagnose and treat post-surgical complications sooner. Some complications after gastric bypass surgery are easily confused with health conditions related to obesity, and may be discounted by both doctors and patients. A medical malpractice attorney may be necessary if a surgeon’s error led to a preventable complication.