7 Risks of Gastric Bypass Surgery

7 Risks of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric Bypass is a weight loss surgery that re-routes your digestion system by making a small pouch in your stomach.  Your new pouch is then connected directly with your small intestine.  This entire newly created system helps you lose weight quickly and effectively.

You lose weight  due to your small pouch of a stomach.  Most of your stomach is bypassed alongside the first part of your small intestine.  With these new bodily changes, you can lose a lot of your excessive weight.

Although Gastric Bypass weight loss surgery is highly effective and relatively safe compared with other weight-loss surgeries, there are still Gastric Bypass risks that must be closely monitored to maintain your overall health.

The major risks with gastric bypass surgery include developing:

  • Infection
  • Excessive Bleeding
  • Breathing issues
  • Gastrointestinal System leaks
  • Blood Clots

All of the listed risks can develop soon after gastric bypass surgery.  Your bariatric healthcare team should closely monitor your overall health status to prevent any unnecessary risks.  Most of the risks listed are common with most stomach and intestinal-related surgeries.

It is important to weigh both pros and cons of your Gastric Bypass surgery.

Long Term Gastric Bypass Risks

Bypass is a relatively safe procedure that helps you achieve your weight loss goals.  Severely obese patients are better equipped with losing weight through the use of bariatric surgery.

Although Gastric Bypass is safe for most patients, there are possible long-term risks and complications that require close monitoring by your bariatric health care team.

Some of the possible long term health complications from Gastric Bypass surgery include:

  • Hernias
  • Gallstones
  • Dumping Syndrome
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Malabsorption
  • Bowel Obstruction

All of the listed possible long-term health risks and struggles should and must be closely monitored by your bariatric health care team.  The various severity levels each symptom and health issue has to your health can lead to more long-term health issues.

To prepare your body before surgery, which helps the overall healing process, is receiving adequate nutrition and physical activity before surgery to help your mind and body improve and maintain a healthy state.

Discuss any concerns you may have about your Gastric Bypass surgery with your bariatrician.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Benefits

The main health benefit of Gastric Bypass surgery is your drastically reduced body weight.  By reducing your overall weight, your current health complications significantly improve.

Any of your weight-related health issues are managed, improved, or resolved through your extensive weight loss. Some of the health risks that improve through weight loss surgery include:

  • Heart Disease
  • High Cholesterol
  • Sleep Apnea
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Acid Reflux Disease
  • PCOS/Infertility
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes

All of the listed severe obesity health-related symptoms are significantly improved after surgery.

Some health conditions improve to the point that they can be considered cured or in remission.

As you continue losing weight due to your Gastric Bypass surgery, you will also notice other positive health benefits that are aided with improved nutrition and regular exercise.

It would help if you prepared yourself for changes to your body that take time to adapt to.

Other possible side effects

Immediately after your Gastric Bypass surgery, you will notice immediate sensations in your body.

Some of these sensations vary in terms of overall pain and discomfort. Some of the symptoms you will experience after surgery include:

  • Fatigue resembling the flu
  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss or thinning
  • Body aches
  • Mood changes
  • Feeling cold

All of the listed symptoms occur as your body adapts to hormonal changes that result in your weight loss and residual trauma from your Gastric Bypass surgery.  Weight loss surgery requires time and rest for your body to adapt and process the surgery and its aftermath.

Gastric Bypass promotes and allows for sustained substantial weight loss.  Most bariatric patients can lose over 70% of their excess weight within 2 years of their Gastric Bypass weight loss surgery.

Most Gastric Bypass patients  sustain their weight loss longer than 2 years after surgery with changes to their lifestyle that reflect their new food and overall health habits.

Your overall quality of life improves in the long term, even if there is physical discomfort immediately after surgery.

Discussing your mental health helps you adapt to your major life changes after Gastric Bypass. 

Weight Gain after Gastric Bypass

Unfortunately for some Gastric Bypass patients, the weight regain after the first two years after surgery.

This is not a rare occurrence as patients struggle to maintain or adjust to their health requirements.

After weight loss surgery for your body to sustain its post-surgery weight, you must adapt and adjust your habits to promote weight loss.  Many bariatric patients struggle with keeping these habits and overall lifestyle changes.

Some reasons weight regain occurs due to:

  • Snacking or Binge eating high-calorie foods
  • No regular physical activity
  • Addiction transfer
  • Alcohol or Drugs

All of the listed habits usually lead to weight regain after surgery because lifestyle habits are no longer sustained, and mental health issues have not been addressed or handled in a way that promotes long-term weight loss.

Some bariatric patients cannot maintain permanent health changes that require diet changes and regular physical activity to compensate for eating choices.

If you ever feel that you are struggling, not meeting your goals, or are noticing a weight gain, you should contact your bariatric health care team regardless of how long it has been since your last appointment.

Your healthcare team has the tools and resources to help you get back on track, and slipping off course is not a rare thing after major weight loss surgery.

Many patients struggle with permanent lifestyle commitments, and your bariatric healthcare team will provide many ways for you to get back on track.

Kelsey Renae Schulze


Kelsey is a post-op bariatric patient who had sleeve surgery in 2018. She is a writer, focusing on a variety of topics given her background in legal studies and criminal justice.