What are the Most Common Gastric Bypass Problems?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 26 January 2019
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Gastric bypass surgery provides a solution for many people who are struggling with obesity, but there are some adverse effects that are commonly associated with the procedure. Among the most common gastric bypass problems are dumping syndrome, which occurs when the stomach empties too rapidly, and dehydration, which occurs when the patient fails to drink enough water. Indigestion can be a particular problem for gastric bypass patients as well. Additionally, some patients experience temporary hair loss after gastric bypass surgery.

One of the most common gastric bypass problems is referred to as dumping syndrome. When a person has dumping syndrome, his stomach rapidly empties, and the undigested food moves into his small intestine. In most cases, this happens to a gastric bypass patient soon after he has eaten. The symptoms of the condition include nausea, abdominal cramping, and heart palpitations. An individual may also become weak, flushed, or dizzy as a result of dumping syndrome.


Dehydration is also among the common gastric bypass problems. After gastric bypass surgery, most people need to drink a good deal of water; a doctor may suggest that patients drink about 2 liters (67.62 ounces) of water per day after gastric bypass surgery. If an individual fails to do so, he may become dehydrated, feel nauseated, and vomit. In many cases, the nausea and vomiting only worsens the patient’s dehydration. Sometimes, dehydration after a gastric bypass can become so serious that the patient has to be hospitalized and receive fluids intravenously.

Indigestion is also among the most common gastric bypass problems. Indigestion occurs when the body fails to digest food properly or has difficulty doing so. It causes such unpleasant symptoms as the feeling of burning or mild-to-severe pain in the upper abdomen. Additionally, some people feel full while they are still eating, feel overly full after they have eaten, become bloated, or feel nauseated when they have indigestion.

Some patients may also lose hair when they have undergone gastric bypass surgery. This may amount to just a little hair loss or a significant amount, depending on the patient. This typically occurs because of a nutritional deficiency that develops after the surgery. It may also occur as part of the body’s reaction to the rapid weight loss a patient experiences after gastric bypass surgery. Many patients find that taking supplements helps with this unpleasant effect, and most people see an end to this problem a few months after surgery.


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Post 3

My daughter after 7 years had so many problems with losing weight to 80 lbs. Her small intestine doesn't absorb food. She has nausea and is weak. The staples in her stomach came apart, so the doctor made her stomach to hold only 3 oz. She needs food but when she eats very little, it passes through her with diarrhea.

Post 2

Hair loss is a big problem for some gastric bypass patients. I'm not sure exactly why they get it, but they do. My friend had that problem. It finally did go away, but it took a while.

There are other weight-loss surgery methods that are becoming more popular and don't have as many complications as gastric bypass can have.

My friend was drinking half a gallon of water a day and still got dehydrated. She had to go to the ER three times in six weeks for fluids. She's better now, but it's something she has to watch all the time.

Post 1

After gastric bypass, a lot of people have problems getting enough of any nutrients. I think people have the idea that getting the surgery will mean the weight automatically falls off, without much effort from the patient, but it takes a lot of work and planning to recover successfully, and to keep from getting malnourished.

It sounds really odd that a morbidly obese person could be malnourished, but it can and does happen. That's why bypass patients always see dietitians who are experienced in helping these patients with their unique needs. They can make sure these folks get all the nutrients they need to be healthy.

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