Problems / Complications - Surgical Associates of Grinnell

Problems / Complications

Serious Problems

Though serious problems after hospital discharge are uncommon, when they do occur it is imperative that they be reported immediately to Grinnell Bariatrics.

     Call the Surgeon Immediately if any of the following occur:

  • Swollen leg with pain behind the knee or calf
  • Fever over 101° F
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Persistent abdominal pain or worsening abdominal pain

Office: (641) 236-4323
Emergency: (641) 236-2380

Common Problems During Recovery

The following situations might occur after surgery and are considered common. They are not serious unless they become excessive in nature.

  • Blood in Stool- Goes away after a week or so. Caused by stapling the stomach and intestine.
  • Bloody Wound Discharge– The discharge is usually at the lower end of the incision. Cover with Gauze. It is old blood trapped under the skin that needs to drain.
  • Nausea- You need to take soothing antacids such as Pepto-Bismol
  • Discomfort- Use prescribed pain pills, liquid Tylenol, and a heating pad on the affected area.
  • Ulcers- can occur in the pouch and cause a sharp pain with liquids or solids from one week and on after your surgery. Should such symptoms develop, call your surgeon and start antacids such as Pepto-Bismol, Maalox, or Mylanta right away.
  • Pouch outlet stenosis- can occur a few weeks to a few months after your bypass. The symptoms include going “backwards” with your diet- gradual intolerance to solid foods with nausea and vomiting daily, eventually progressing (regressing) to intolerance even of liquids. Call your surgeon.

Dietary Complications

Nausea and Vomiting: This usually happens because of eating too fast, drinking liquids while eating, not chewing enough, or eating too much. If nausea occurs after trying a new food, let your pouch rest for a few days before trying something new again. Review the dietary rules.

Dehydration: You will lose body fluids if you do not drink enough. Drink 64 ounces of fluid a day. Drink no-calorie liquids and sip small amounts frequently.

Dumping Syndrome: You must avoid foods with purified sugar, high fat, or enriched foods. If you consume these foods you might experience “dumping.” You may become nauseous, sweaty, dizzy, and even vomit. Because the pouch does not hold food the way a stomach does or for the time period a stomach does, when you eat foods with high sugar or fat the pouch quickly gets rid of the food; the intestine then rapidly absorbs the sugar or fat and causes extremely uncomfortable effects.

Food Intolerances: These vary by individual but the most common are red meat and high-fiber foods.

 Overeating: The patterns and reasons for overeating before surgery are still present after surgery. Education, counseling, and support will help you change these patterns while your new stomach will limit your ability to eat large quantities. If you do overeat, or eat something that does not agree with you, your stomach will be irritated for 12-24 hours. During this time, the stomach will be less tolerant of food and liquid than usual and even small amounts of food will feel like overfull. If you overeat, you will have to give your stomach pouch a chance to recover by only eating clear liquids for the next meal or two.

If you become sick and do not feel like eating, just keep your fluids going and let your stomach rest.

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