In some cases, minimally invasive techniques may be combined with an open procedure. Additionally, your doctor may decide after beginning a minimally invasive technique that you require open surgery to safely complete your surgery. Your doctor will determine which type and method of surgery is best for you and how long you need to stay in the hospital based on your diagnosis, age, medical history, general health, and possibly your personal preference. Learn about the different gastric bypass surgeries and ask why your doctor will use a particular type of procedure for you.
Types of anesthesia that may be used
General anesthesia is used for gastric bypass. General anesthesia is a combination of intravenous (IV) medications and gases that put you in a special type of sleep. During general anesthesia, you are unaware of the procedure and do not feel any pain.
What to expect the day of your gastric bypass
The day of your surgery, you can generally expect to:
- Talk with a pre-operative nurse. The nurse will perform an exam and ensure that all needed tests are in order. The nurse can also answer questions and make sure that you sign the surgical consent.
- Remove all clothing and jewelry and dress in a hospital gown. It is a good idea to leave all jewelry and valuables at home or with a family member if possible. The surgical team will respect your privacy and give you blankets for modesty and warmth in the surgical suite.
- Talk with the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist about your medical history and the type of anesthesia you will have.
- A surgical team member will start an IV.
- The anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will start your anesthesia.
- You will have a urinary catheter placed after you are asleep.
- The surgical team will monitor your vital signs and other critical body functions. This occurs throughout the procedure and during your recovery until you are alert, breathing effectively, and all vital signs are stabilized.
What are the risks and potential complications of gastric bypass?
Any surgical procedure involves risks and the possibility of complications which may become serious and life threatening in some cases. Complications can develop during the procedure or throughout your recovery.
General risks of surgery
The general risks of surgical procedures include:
- Adverse reaction or problems related to anesthesia, such as an allergic reaction and problems with breathing
- Bleeding or hemorrhage (heavy bleeding), which can lead to shock
- Blood clots, in particular a deep vein thrombosis that develops in the leg or pelvis. A blood clot can move to your lungs, heart or brain and cause a pulmonary embolism, heart attack, or stroke.
- Infection and septicemia, which is the spread of a local infection to the blood
Potential complications of gastric bypass
Gastric bypass is a major surgical procedure in which serious, even life-threatening complications can occur. You can best reduce the risk of potential complications and help manage complications if any occur by following the treatment plan you and your surgeon design specifically for you. Potential complications include:
- Damage to abdominal organs or major blood vessels
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Dumping syndrome (rapid emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine causing symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, cramping, and abdominal pain)
- Gastritis (irritated stomach tissue), ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux (regurgitation), and heartburn
- Intestinal stricture (narrowing)
- Leaking of digested foods and digestive juices into the abdominal cavity from the area where organs are sewed together
- Malnutrition including vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can lead to long-term complications, such as osteoporosis, anemia, and permanent nervous system damage
- Nausea, vomiting, gas and bloating
- Poor weight loss results or inability to maintain long-term weight loss
© Copyright 2012 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.