Gastric Bypass Risks and Complications

Gastric Bypass Risks and Complications

Gastric Bypass Risk and Complications
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According to a study 1 by WebMD, about 10% of gastric bypass patients face postoperative complications that are usually slight.

Blood Clots

Blood Clots


According to Cleveland Clinic, abdominal hernias (when an organ gets dislocated from its original position and protrudes out of the body) are the most common occurrences among gastric bypass patients.


  • Quit smoking
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Avoid straining during urination or bowel movements


Leaking of gastric juices or acids through the staple line or sutures is another problem that may be encountered after a gastric bypass procedure. Gastric leaks may cause harm to nearby organs and tissues. According to a January 2009 study approved by the ASMBS Executive Council, “gastrointestinal leak after gastric bypass is a known complication with a reported incidence between 1 and 5% in large case series of open and laparoscopic gastric bypass.”2


  • Using the right size of staples.
  • Over-sewing either by hand or stapling devices.
  • Use of biological hemostatic or coagulating agents to prevent or stop leakage.

Ulcers/Blood Clots

In rare cases, gastric bypass patients may also experience ulcers in the stomach or intestinal lining as well blood clots in the lungs or legs. 


  • Ulcers in the stomach or small intestine can be cured by antibiotics.
  • Blood clots in the lungs or abdomen can be cured by anticoagulant medicines.



Gallstones are clumps or chunks of cholesterol and other similar matter that deposit in the gallbladder while or after quick and or significant weight loss. According to a report by Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, Cleveland Clinic, nearly 33% of individuals who have had gastric bypass develop gallstones.3


According to Cleveland Clinic, bile salts supplements should be taken for 6 months after the surgery to prevent Gallstones.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Since gastric bypass involves manipulating the gut, it leaves the body deprived of essential vitamins and minerals. According to a 2005 study by Bloomberg and colleagues published in the Obesity Surgery journal,4 gastric bypass may result in deficiency of:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D

Nutritional DeficiencyThis may further result in:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Wernicke encephalopathy
  • Anemia
  • Peripheral neuropathy 


  • Eat small meals.
  • Choose foods that are dense in nutrients.
  • Ensure 60 grams of protein in your diet every day.
  • Supplements for protein, Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12 and Iron should be taken regularly.

A sprinkle of Weight Loss Motivation to keep you going

Bariatric Surgery Motivation


  1. What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery? – 2012; Andrew Seibert
  2. American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery’s Position Statement on “Prevention and Detection of Gastrointestinal Leak” Published May 2009
  3. Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, Cleveland Clinic
  4. Bloomberg RD, Fleishman A, Nalle JE, Herron DM, Kini S. Nutritional deficiencies following bariatric surgery: what have we learned [review]? Obes Surg. 2005;15:145-154.

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US-registered Bariatric Dietitian

US-registered Bariatric Dietitian
Katelyn Mock is a US-registered Bariatric Dietitian certified by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. With more than 8 years of experience in formulating and reviewing diet programs across various hospital settings, Katelyn has also served as the Lead Bariatric Dietitian for the Ohio State University Medical Center.

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