Problems and 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 are 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 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 new food, let your pouch rest for a few days before trying something new again. Review the dietary rules. For more dietary tips on managing nausea and vomiting, refer to the Nutrition Information section of your education day binder.

Dehydration: Aim for at least 64 ounces (8 cups) of fluid per day. Examples of fluids intake: water, Crystal Light or other no-calorie beverages, skim or 1% milk, protein shakes, and liquid meal replacements. Fluid needs are individual and some people may need to drink more fluids in order to stay hydrated. Increase your fluid intake if you are having signs or symptoms of dehydration: decreased or dark urine, nausea, headache, dizziness, lack of energy, dry skin, dry mouth or a white coating on the tongue.

Dumping Syndrome: Because your new stomach does not hold food the way it used to, eating certain foods, especially those high in sugar or fat, will cause the food to pass through much quicker and become rapidly absorbed by the intestines. This can cause many uncomfortable side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, sweating, shakiness and a fast heart rate. Start by avoiding items which contain more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Your own tolerance of sugar may be more or less than 5 grams. Also, try avoiding greasy and fried foods. For more dietary tips on avoiding dumping syndrome, refer to the Nutrition Information section of your education day binder.

Food Intolerances: Everyone is different and individual tolerances will vary. Tolerance to different food items may improve as you get further out from surgery. Some of the most common intolerances are red meat, soft bread, pasta, fibrous vegetables, and fruits with skins or membranes.

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.

© 2021 Grinnell Surgical Associates. All Rights Reserved.