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The Long Term Effects of Gastric Bypass

The Long Term Effects of Gastric Bypass

Gastric Bypass is the most well documented and established treatment option for severe and morbid obesity. Gastric Bypass is a weight loss surgery that helps facilitate weight loss through the absence of many food options, reduced calorie intake, and absorption.

There is scientific evidence that proves that Gastric Bypass is a reliable surgical option for improving your health.  Because of weight loss surgery's proven success, you experience many health benefits and improvements after surgery.

Although there is a positive track record for gastric bypass surgery in treating severe obesity, there are still many unknown health side effects.  

What are the Long Term Effects of Gastric Bypass?

When you decide to have weight loss surgery, you choose a permanent lifelong commitment that must include regular exercise and a healthy diet.  You will achieve long term weight loss and success when you prioritize a healthy lifestyle.

After gastric bypass, five years after surgery, the data for success is 50%-80% of patients have maintained their weight loss.  Because of this success, many bariatric patients have a more balanced mood, increased self-esteem, energy, and overall better life quality.

Learning how to prepare fresh veggies can help increase your weight loss after surgery.

Along with improving the patients' mental and physical aspects, surgery improves and resolves more than 40 obesity-related health conditions.  According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), these conditions include:

  • Cancer
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Hypertension
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Sleep Apnea

Along with personal and health improvements after surgery, many patients experience positive economic changes.  Health care costs are reduced by over 29% within five years following bariatric surgery.

Gastric Bypass patients also experience an increase in their salary of around $2,700 per year.  This is a significant improvement and shows that eliminating or reducing obese related health conditions improves your ability to work productively in a workplace setting.

Maintaining ongoing mental health is crucial for prolonging weight loss success. 

Long Term Effects of Gastric Bypass Complications

There are many positive health effects after Gastric Bypass. There are also many unknown and adverse complications you need to monitor closely.  Some of the known risks to gastric Bypass include:

  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Ulcers
  • Slower return to regular activity
  • Internal hernias

Excessive vomiting could be provoked by ulcers, which causes a build-up of scar tissue.  The main reason why you may experience excessive vomiting is due to the narrowing or stenosis at the joining between the stomach pouch and your food channel. If you have an ulcer, this can cause many health complications.  The most common side effect of an ulcer is severe stomach pain when eating.

To help reduce stomach pain, do not smoke, and take any NSAIDs.

NSAIDs or anti-inflammatory painkillers include:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Diclofenac
Daily exercise is a great way to maintain a healthy mind and body. 

Another negative health side effect of gastric Bypass is the development of hernias.  Internal hernias usually occur a year or more after surgery, and 1-2% of patients are affected. You can experience a hernia when a part of your bowel becomes trapped behind the food channel draining your gastric pouch.

The three most typical negative effects of rapid weight loss in gastric bypass  include:

  • Gallstones
  • Hair Thinning
  • Loose skin

Gallstones are extremely painful, and about one in ten gastric bypass patients are at risk. Some patients may develop gallbladder inflamation or stones may start traveling, so that gallbladder must be removed.

Another health side effect of gastric bypass surgery is the relentless thinning of your hair. Because of the rapid weight loss and hormonal changes, your body naturally adjusts.  This adjustment period lasts anywhere from 3 to 6 months after surgery, and the main side effect is hair loss. You can help treat your hair loss and thinning by maintain your protein intake and taking biotin supplements to help reduce and offset all hair loss.

The last main health concern from gastric bypass surgery is the loose skin phenomenon.  Loose skin occurs when you lose more than 50 pounds and in rapid succession. The most common areas for excessive skin include:

  • Stomach
  • Tops of your arms
  • Tops of your thighs
  • Over your breasts

The main course of treating loose skin is cosmetic surgery.  Bariatric cosmetic surgery is still considered elective and not health-essential; therefore, you will have to pay out of pocket.  This is a financial commitment that you should consider extensively before deciding.

Cultivating a garden of fresh fruits and vegetables is a helpful skill in prioritizing your health. 

Gastric Bypass Long Term Nutritional Consequences

To be successful within your professional and personal life regarding health and wellness, you need to understand the nutritional requirements you must commit to maximize your weight loss surgery tool and prevent any unnecessary weight gain.

The long term gastric bypass diet plan should prioritize a healthy nutrition plan.  This plan is the main component of long-term weight loss after gastric Bypass.   Prioritizing your protein and vegetables are the primary considerations to help maintain your weight loss goals after surgery.  Along with nutrition, you also need to have a regular exercise routine.

When your behaviors are working in line with your weight loss goals, you can overcome any personal or emotional obstacles in your weight loss journey.  Having steady and reliable habits in place helps you overcome any emotional hurdles.

Another essential component for long-term success have gastric bypass surgery is the regular habit of taking daily supplements.  One of the significant health concerns after gastric Bypass is nutritional deficiency.

Learn how to appreciate your journey of health and wellness by starting a practice of gratitude.

Some long term gastric bypass complications include nutritional deficiency.  A nutritional deficiency occurs when you are not absorbing your essential nutrients because of the Bypass of your stomach, which increases a prolonged starvation state.  The core vitamins lacking in gastric bypass patients include:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Iron
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium

Any long term gastric bypass complications relating to nutritional deficiencies are resolved within two years of weight loss surgery, but this is still a concern that should be closely monitored.

In general, bariatric surgery is a safe and well-known treatment for severe obesity. Most of the complications may be avoided or prevented by closely working with your bariatric professional team.

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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.