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Celebrating Halloween after Weight Loss Surgery

 

After weight loss surgery, you are starting to see results but with the fall season comes many temptations. This is largely due to the many holiday offerings that begin bariatric halloweenwith the arrival of Halloween.

While it may be a tradition to enjoy delicious Halloween candy throughout the month of October, now is not the time to indulge. Saying no to those sweet little treats and candy bars will keep your weight loss goals on target.

After a lifetime of mindless snacking, it can be difficult to resist temptation but here is a helpful list of ways you can avoid sabotaging your healthy diet and weight loss success.

Buy the candies you hate!

Sure, this may seem difficult but it actually isn’t. Avoid your favorite candies and chocolate, opting for flavors and brands that will not tempt you. Hate coconut? Buy fun-sized Mounds or other coconut filled treat. Love chocolate? Avoid buying any Halloween candy covered with or containing chocolate.

Don’t keep candy sitting around the house!

If purchasing candy and treats is a tradition you cannot escape from, don’t buy it early and store it around your home. Wait until the last possible minute to shop for candy to give away, and avoid filling any dandy dishes or dispensers until it’s time to celebrate.

Look for great alternatives to handing out candy! 

Think of other great things to hand out this Halloween rather than candy. Consider giving away temporary tattoos, stickers, small toys, raisins, cracker and cheese packs, coins, juice boxes for thirsty trick or treaters. These are just a few of the many great items that kids will love.

Celebrate with a support group!

If you don’t have a bariatric support group, invite a few of your health-minded friends over for a party. Choose healthy treats approved for your post bariatric surgery diet.

Go trick or treating with the kids!

While you don’t need the calories that Halloween treats provide, the exercise is great for you! Walk with the kids as they go trick-or-treating and stay in control of your new healthy lifestyle.

Give away over-stocked and left-over candy!

After a night of trick or treating, let the children choose a handful of candy to keep. Donate the rest of your kids’ candy haul to homeless shelters, dentists’ offices, and food kitchens. This keeps candy and chocolate from lying around the house to tempt you.

Keep candy in the freezer!

If you have candy and chocolate sitting around your house after Halloween has passed, gather it all up and stash it in the freezer. Your children will eat fewer pieces at a time, and the candy is less accessible.

Set the date for a candy-free home!

Choose a date in November and mark it on your calendar. This is the day all of the Halloween candy will be removed from your home. The candy-free zone will be conducive to your diet once again.

Don’t deprive yourself on Halloween!

Don’t deprive yourself of an occasional treat or Halloween candy when you have a craving. Try to find healthier options to chase the urge away, but if the craving lingers, have a small bite so you don’t binge later.

Read the label before eating a piece of candy or treat!

Before putting any holiday candies or treats in your mouth, know exactly what the label says regarding calories, sugar, and fat grams. Reading labels can often discourage you from eating something, as you decide if the calories are worth the short term rewards.

 

 

Five  Foods to Avoid after Bariatric Surgery

 

Bariatric surgery is not an instant solution to losing weight, as you will still have to make the right food choices. Once your doctor tells you it is okay to eat solid foods, you will not be able to eat anything you like. There are several foods and drinks that you should never consume again. Here are the top four foods to avoid after weight loss surgery.

five foods to avoid after bariatric surgery

Breads, Pasta, Potatoes and Rice

 

Heavy starches such as bread, potatoes, rice, and pasta are no longer comfort foods after weight loss surgery. In fact, attempting to eat from this food group can be quite uncomfortable. These foods can form a paste in the throat, making it difficult to swallow. If this happens, there is a fair amount of discomfort and the food may be rejected.

In a few Bariatric cases, breads, potatoes, rice and pasta have blocked the stoma, which is the entrance to the stomach pouch. It is best to give these high-starch foods up entirely, as avoidance will accelerate your weight loss. If you choose to consume one of these foods, do so rarely and in extremely small portions. Take small bites and eat very slowly, remembering not to drink anything thirty minutes before or after your meal.

 

Dry or Tough Meats

 

No matter what type of food you eat, it is important to chew well, taking your time with each small bite. This ensures that you can easily swallow and digest your meals correctly, which is especially important after Bariatric surgery. Because you will not be drinking beverages or water with your meals, it can become even more difficult to swallow some meats.

Lean meats are ideal for your new diet because you need adequate amounts of protein. Avoid meats with fat or gristle, and meats that are tough or hard to swallow  It is recommended to take bites the size of a pencil eraser, choosing meats with a sauce or gravy rather than dry. Foods to avoid include steak, ham, pork chops, and hot dogs.

Other dry foods will also be difficult to swallow such as nuts, granola and dry cereal. Eat these foods slowly and with great caution after Bariatric surgery. As your body heals, you may find that some of these foods become easier to consume.

 

Caffeinated, Carbonated and Alcoholic Beverages

 

The first advice you will probably hear after weight loss surgery is this: Don’t Drink Your Calories! Bariatric patients must avoid drinking beverages with sugar, fructose or corn syrup such as sodas, energy drinks, and fruit juices.  These high calorie beverages will sabotage your diet and could lead to Dumping Syndrome, which is very uncomfortable.

After Bariatric surgery, you should consume at least 64 ounces of water daily and avoid beverages with carbonation, which can expand your new stomach pouch. Opt for decaffeinated drinks such as coffee or tea since caffeine can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can quickly become an issue with your new smaller stomach.

Alcohol should be avoided, since these high calorie drinks offer no benefit to your body. Focus on drinks that offer the added vitamins and minerals your body needs. It is also important to remember that, after weight loss surgery, you may become intoxicated much more quickly.

 

Fatty, Greasy and High Calorie Foods

 

Fatty, greasy and high calorie foods should be avoided after weight loss surgery, as these may lead to nausea and sabotage your weight loss. Avoid high calorie, high fat foods such as bacon and sausage, butter, bologna, and whole milk.

You should also avoid foods that offer little or no nutritional value such as candy, chips, pastries, popcorn, rice cakes and similar. Consuming the wrong foods can lead to issues such as weight gain or undernourishment. After weight loss surgery, these foods are dumped into the colon soon after they are consumed, causing symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, cold sweats and weakness.

 

After Bariatric surgery, you will want to select low-fat deli meats and cheeses. Consuming too many bad food choices can make you feel ill or experience the effects of Dumping Syndrome. Making wise choices will be key in getting the results you deserve.

From a physical aspect, it is quite possible to have a healthy pregnancy after weight loss surgery. Recent studies suggests that having a baby after Bariatric surgery may actually be safer than a pregnancy complicated by issues stemming from obesity. Some of these issues include Gestational Diabetes, Preeclampsia and  Hypertension, all of which can affect both mother and baby. Bariatric surgery has also led to a reduced number of Cesarean births among expectant mothers who are obese.

pregnant bariatric surgery

Having a Baby after Weight Loss Surgery

The most important issue surrounding your choice to have a baby after weight loss surgery is the timing. You should wait until you have met your weight loss goal before deciding to have a baby. When your weight is stable, your body is ready to offer the nutrients your baby will need. becoming pregnant while still undergoing a rapid or consistent weight loss could lead to a low birth weight for your baby.

Most doctors and nutritionists agree that 18 to 24 months is an ideal length of time for Bariatric patients to conceive after any weight loss surgery. If you chose the lap band for your weight loss surgery, some doctors feel that twelve months is an appropriate length of time to wait before having a baby, but you may need to have your band readjusted in order to meet the needs of your body during pregnancy.

It is important to remember that your weight loss after Bariatric surgery will be quite significant in the first year, and gradual in the second year. By the third year, most Bariatric patients will have met their weight loss goals and have learned to maintain their ideal weight. Once the weight has become stable, a healthy pregnancy is not only possible but probable.

 

Consult Your Physician

Once you have decided to have a baby after weight loss surgery, consult your physician. You will need preconception planning and your doctor may want to consider nutritional supplements. Some of the more popular vitamin and mineral supplements for those trying to conceive after rapid weight loss include Calcium, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Iron and Vitamin D.

It may be a good idea to begin Prenatal Vitamins before conception as well as during the length of the pregnancy. Other professionals can be of great help for those who become pregnant after Bariatric surgery include registered dietitians and nutritionists, offering help in the areas of weight gain and nutrition.

The final decision to have a baby after weight loss surgery should be yours, under the advice of your trusted medical doctor. Because every person’s situation is different, your doctor will best advise you according to your personal health history. This will help you determine whether a healthy pregnancy is possible, and if it is the right choice for you, after any Bariatric surgery procedure.

 

Sedimentary Lifestyle Change after Weight Loss Surgery

If you are trying to lose weight, a sedentary lifestyle will not achieve the results you desire – even if you have had weight loss surgery. Most Americans sit still for far too many hours each day which is very unhealthy. Many Americans are stuck working at a desk job for approximately forty hours per week. We move from bed to car to work to car and then from car to couch to bed. Very rarely does the average person get any real exercise from a normal day’s activities. Yet we complain of exhaustion… from all that sitting.

After having weight loss surgery, it will most likely be necessary to make some changes regarding the amount of time you spend sitting still. While it is not likely that you will be able to trade your desk job for one that is more physically demanding, there are some ways to move around while working that will help your body burn calories and feel better. As you begin building new energy levels, even just five minutes twice daily can make a difference.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.21.10 AM

Finding Opportunities

Incidental activity is simply movement that can be done without veering from your regular routine. You can create incidental activity while sitting at your desk by fidgeting in your seat. While it is not the same level of exercise as going to the gym, many Bariatric patients have spent an increased number of calories while adjusting to their new lifestyle, thanks to this physical activity.

Weight loss surgery patients can build up their incidental activity levels each day by taking the stairs rather than an elevator or walking over to a co-worker’s cubicle rather than sending an instant message. Other, less strenuous options include tapping your foot to music or fidgeting in your chair as you type. By altering your routine with incidental activity, you burn more calories and build a slightly healthier lifestyle.

 

Fidgeting is Easy: Here’s How!

  • Listen to music and dance a little in your chair or at your desk.
  • Tap your foot to enjoy the beat of your favorite song as you type, bounce or kick your legs.
  • Stand up to stretch your arms at least once each hour while sitting. Make this a routine.
  • With each changing hour, stand up, stretch, drink some water, and move around to remain hydrated and moving.
  • Stand up and move around while talking on the phone. If you can’t stand while on the phone, move your fingers or swing your feet while seated in your chair.

After weight loss surgery, going to the gym may not be an option yet. However, as your body recovers, time to adjust becomes needed. Fidgeting is not meant to replace a moderate exercise routine, but it can help you burn calories during those moments when otherwise, you would be stuck sitting still.

 

Motivate Yourself with a Weight Loss Journal

There are numerous ways to find support after weight loss surgery. If you live in a more populated area, there are support groups you can visit weekly, if not daily. Rural dwellers have a more limited access to support groups but several active online weight loss groups can be found that really helps you chase away that feeling of being alone in your journey.

One of the best ways you can motivate yourself is with the help of a weight loss journal. Keeping track of your weight loss and other milestones, including what you eat, can really helpyou on your weight loss surgery. It is best to start keeping a record of your journey from the moment you decide to have weight loss surgery, but it is never too late to start recording your progress.

Additionally, the journaling process could be helpful long after you have reached your desired weight to help keep old habits at bay and remain focused. If you make a commitment to the record keeping process, journaling is also a great way to maintain your ideal weight and prevent any risk of weight gain after Bariatric surgery.

Interested in Sharing your Bariatric Journey with National Bariatric Link?

We would love to post your story to motivate our weight loss surgery community!  

We are always looking for guest bloggers, want to blog your weight loss journey with National Bariatric Link, please contact us!!

Journaling your Weight Loss Journey

Keeping a record of your weight loss journey can be done in several ways. Choose the one that best suits your lifestyle and will motivate you the most. If keeping a written record such as a joJournaling WLSurnal or a blog, don’t shy away from cameras. Snap those before and afters with pride because you are dedicated to your journey.

The most common choices for keeping a weight loss record include the following: keeping a written journal much like a diary, writing a blog, creating a dedicated social media fanpage such as Facebook, vlogging (which is video blogging), or picture blogging on Instagram. It doesn’t really matter which method you choose so long as you are comfortable and consistent.

When you begin the journal, be sure to log in, write or make your videos as much as possible. Set a minimum requirement for yourself as well. This is a habit which must be properly formed and your schedule may not always be regular.  You can easily balance the journaling process with your lifestyle once keeping a record has become a habit.

Sharing Your Weight Loss Journey

The weight loss journal is a record of your weight loss journey, so share the details that will motivate and build your confidence.  If you aren’t comfortable sharing certain information, then don’t! Using your own personal preferences and making your own rules regarding details will help to create a journal that keeps you focused and hopeful. Below are some of the most commonly shared details in a weight loss journal:

Your Diet: food choices, vatamin and supplement information, nutrient and calorie intake, protein sources

When You Eat: describe portion sizes, hunger times, cravings, giving in to temptation, getting back on track

Your Exercise Plan: what works and what doesn’t, trips to the gym, stamina increases, favorite exercise products

Personal Weight Loss Goals: goals, plans, hopes and dreams, weight before and afters, personal measurements

Your New Life: new sleeping habits, relationship changes, family life, activities you were unable to do before

 

Whether you decide to write or record long emotion-filled journal entries or jot down a quick list of updates, the weight loss record will help keep you focused after weight loss surgery. Search the internet for other recorded weight loss journeys for inspiration and ideas. Be sure to visit YouTube where you will find an entire weight loss community devoted to journaling their results to help not only themselves, but others as well.

Interested in Sharing your Bariatric Journey with National Bariatric Link?

We would love to post your story to motivate our weight loss surgery community!  

We are always looking for guest bloggers, want to blog your weight loss journey with National Bariatric Link, please contact us!!

After bariatric surgery, a special diet is required to assist your body with healing and recovery. At this time, you will find new eating habits through effective meal planning and the assistance of your doctor or dietician. The type of food you choose and the amounts that you consume should be closely monitored to help you lose weight at a healthy pace.

Your new diet should serve several purposes but first of all, your gastric bypass procedure will train you to eat smaller amounts of foods at a much slower pace than before. Your new eating habits will allow your stomach to heal without being stretched and help your body digest foods more effectively.

Following doctor’s orders is the single most effective post-surgery advice to be followed. Your physician will assist you and answer any questions you may have as you move through the four steps of gastric bypass recovery. By step four, which is usually month number three, you will be enjoying more solid foods again.

It is important to pay close attention to your body and recognize signs when you are hungry or full. You may not be able to eat some foods, even if they were once your favorites, as your body may develop certain food intolerances after gastric surgery.

 

Step One: Liquids

After gastric bypass surgery, you will not be allowed to eat for 24-48 hours, depending on your personal situation which has been taken into consideration by your doctor. This is to make sure your stomach has an appropriate time to heal. Before you are released from the hospital, you will be given liquids and very soft foods to ensure that the stomach can effectively accept foods and aid in the digestion process.

These post gastric surgery approved liquids may include any of the following: broth, fat free milk, unsweetened juice, sugar free gelatin, and cream soup which has been strained. Allow yourself to consume only two or three ounces of liquid each time and avoid carbonated beverages. Caffeine should also be avoided.

 

Step Two: Pureed Food

Once your body has grown accustomed to liquid foods without any complications, with your doctor’s consent you may be able to advance to the next step – pureed foods. For the next two to four weeks, you should consume only the foods which could be described as a thick liquid or paste. Avoid spicy foods and most dairy products as your digestive system will still be very sensitive at this time. New foods should be introduced slowly and in very small servings to prevent stomach irritation or nausea.

There should be absolutely no solid pieces and food should be pureed well. Some doctor approved healthy foods that will blend well include the following: lean meat that has been ground up, beans, egg whites, cottage cheese, fish, soft vegetables, fruit, and yogurt. Solid foods will blend well if you add a liquid such as fat free milk, water, sugar free juice, broth and even gravy, as long as it is fat free.

 

Step Three: Soft Food

With the doctor or dietitian’s approval, you will remain on pureed foods for several weeks until it is time to transition to soft food. An easy way to determine whether a food is considered soft is to try mashing it with a fork. If the food mashes easily against a fork, it can be included in your diet.

Much of the same rules apply during this phase as with the previous steps. Do not drink while you are eating; instead, wait until thirty minutes after eating to have a drink. You will feel full very quickly so try to consume as much protein as possible rather than fill up on less healthy foods. This will most likely be your diet for the next eight weeks so look for healthy variations of your favorite foods.

 

Step Four: Solid Food

With the soft food portion of your gastric bypass diet coming to an end, thanks to doctor’s orders, the time has come to begin eating solid food again – slowly and carefully. It is still recommended to avoid spicy or crunchy foods. Using caution and eating slowly will ensure there are no setbacks or complications with your gastric bypass surgery.

Solid food does not include everything you used to enjoy. It is important to use good common sense and make safe, nutritious choices. Foods to avoid should include the following: popcorn, nuts, seeds, granola, tough or dry meat, breads, carbonated beverages, and stringy fibrous vegetables (including broccoli, corn, cabbage, and celery) as these are prone to causing several gastrointestinal problems.

 

Some additional things to consider as you form new habits and your body heals:

  • Eat several small meals per day – slowly
  • Meals should be the equivalent to one-half cup servings
  • Stay hydrated with liquids throughout the day rather than during meals
  • Take a daily vitamin supplement and calcium, at the doctor’s request
  • Drink plenty of water each day
  • Avoid foods that are high in sugar or fat including items such as candy bars, ice cream, and soda
  • Avoid fried foods entirely
  • Choose high protein options whenever possible. These foods will help heal wounds, regrow muscle and skin, and even prevent hair loss.

 

Some high protein foods include lean cuts of pork, beef, fish, chicken, or beans and are wonderful for your new diet. Other sources of protein can be found in the dairy group with items such as low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt.

A review of the literature says that there is no need to delay pregnancy past 12 months after bariatric surgery.  It says that post-surgery pregnancy is safe and that there is no significant differences found in the risk of gestational diabetes, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit or perinatal death.

Details of the First of Three Published Research Paperspregnancy post bariatric surgery

The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published research done by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hvidovre University Hospital, Denmark.  This research concluded that the weight of newborn babies from mothers who’ve had bariatric surgery does not show any significant difference compared to newborn babies from mothers who’ve not had the surgery.  This research also showed no significant difference statistically between mothers and newborns regarding the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, preeclampsia during pregnancy, the need to have labor induced, the need for a caesarean section, hemorrhaging post-partum, need for the newborn to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit or perinatal death.

Slight but No Significant Differences

Dr. Mette M Kjaer, the lead author of the study told Reuters Health that although they expected to find “a positive impact on maternal complications, especially the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, after matching for BMI we did not find any difference between the groups.”  What they did find were very slight differences in the subjects who had bariatric surgery.  Their babies had a shorter mean gestational age, 274 vs. 278 days (p<0.001), a lower mean weight at birth, 3,312g vs. 3,585g (p<0.001) and a lower risk of being large for gestational age and a higher risk of being small for gestational age as compared to babies born to mothers in the non- surgery group.  These differences too, were not clinically significant.

The study examined 339 women who had their babies after bariatric surgery with 84.4% of these having undergone gastric bypass.  They were matched with 1,277 mothers of similar age, BMI and delivery date, who had not had bariatric surgery.  The BMI in the surgery group was slightly higher than the non-surgery group (32.4 vs. 32.2).  Even though the study found that most women and their babies do well after surgery, they should still monitor fetal growth and nutrition as there may be a need for vitamin supplementation.  Kjaer added that “Paradoxically, babies who are both small-or-large-for-gestational-age are at increased risk of later obesity and metabolic syndrome”.

A Second Research Paper Regarding Delaying Pregnancy

The same researchers published a second paper in the Obesity Surgery Journal in which they essentially agreed with a study done previously that concluded that women should delay pregnancy for at least a year after bariatric surgery.  They also concluded that there was no evidence showing that waiting any longer would make any difference.

They studied a total of 286 women who became pregnant after gastric bypass surgery.  Of these 158 conceived within the first year and 128 conceived later.  And the study showed there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups of mothers for any of the risk factors mentioned earlier in this article.  It must be noted that the best time for pregnancy after having gastric bypass surgery has not been determined yet.

A Third Paper Reviewed 17 Flawed Studies

There was a third paper, a review of 17 papers,  published in the Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica journal which recommended larger studies, that matched or adjusted for BMI, be done to confirm the accuracy of the prior conclusion of pregnancy after bariatric surgery being safe.

The problem with these 17 studies was that study design was not homogeneous enough and that six of the studies had less than 50 subjects with bariatric surgery.  There were many slight differences between the groups studied, but on closer examination the differences were invalid as the study design was flawed.  They did find a single study indicating a higher risk of birth defects after surgery, but not significantly higher.

 

The gastric sleeve procedure has become very common in terms of weight loss surgery.  In spite of its recent popularity among patients and surgeons it’s still controversial, especially regarding bougie size.

 

What is a Bougie?

 The bougie (BOO-zhee) is a measuring device in the form of a long, flexible tube. Surgeons use it to guide them when dividing the stomach.

During the surgery the bougie is inserted through the mouth and guided through the esophagus and stomach to the pylorus.  The tube creates a bulge that the surgeon uses to guide the stapler in dividing the stomach.  After the sleeve is formed the bougie is removed.

Bougies come in various sizes and the unit of measurement is called a French, abbreviated F.  1F = 0.333 mm or 1/3 mm.  A 40F bougie is equal to ½ inch for example. Standard bougie sizes in the U.S. range from 32 – 50F.

Generally, the smaller the bougie used, the smaller the new stomach size.  But the same size bougie doesn’t always create the same size stomach.  A lot depends on the surgeon and whether he/she over sews the staple line, and if so by how much.

There is no unanimous agreement on the ideal bougie size for a given patient.  This is a challenge because each procedure requires the surgeon to find the size that will be the safest, yet allow for the most amount of weight loss.

The smaller the bougie that is used, the smaller the sleeve and the resulting stomach restriction.  But there is a greater risk of leakage and instances of stricture.  A stricture occurs when scar tissue develops and interferes with the normal movement of food and liquids into the stomach.  It can only be corrected with surgery.

On the other hand, if a larger bougie is used, there is less risk but then maybe less weight loss as well.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

 

2008 Gastric Sleeve Bougie Study

 This study showed a very minor difference in weight loss results when using a 40F bougie vs a 60F bougie.  At 6 months the difference was less than 2% and at 12 months the difference was less than 6%.

Study: Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy: does bougie size affect mean %EWL? Short-term outcomes. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2008 Jul-Aug;4(4):528-33. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2008.03.245.)

2013 Gastric Sleeve Surgery Study on Leaks

The results show that bougies of 40F and larger had incidents of leaks with virtually no change in weight loss.  Pending further research but caution is recommended in using the smallest possible bougie due to the risks outweighing the benefits.

(Study: The Effects of Bougie Caliber on Leaks and Excess Weight Loss Following Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. Is There an Ideal Bougie Size? Obes Surg. 2013 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of print])

2012 Gastric Sleeve Study

Surgeons surveyed reported that in the range of 32F – 50F the most common size being used is 36F, (used by 32% of them).  Studies showed that the procedure is relatively safe while there are still variations in bougie size.

(Study: Survey on laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) at the Fourth International Consensus Summit on Sleeve Gastrectomy. Obes Surg. 2013 Aug 4. [Epub ahead of print])

What is the Best Bougie Size for Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Many variables determine bougie size including patient input, their height and weight and of course the surgeon.  It’s typically smaller when this is a stand alone procedure (32-50F) rather than a duodena switch (50-60F).

Depending on the bougie size the new stomach will be 60-80% smaller.  After surgery the new stomach will hold a meal of ½ cup to 1 ½ cups, rather than the normal 4 – 6 cups.

Before undergoing the sleeve gastrectomy procedure you must discuss bougie size with your surgeon.  You need to understand his reasons for recommending the size he intends to use.  It’s your stomach and you need to be comfortable.

The sleeve will help reduce hunger and limit food intake, but you need to follow a reduced calorie, nutrient-rich diet if you want to be successful.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Complication:  Leak—Become Knowledgeable About It

Gastric Sleeve leak

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Complications: LEAK

One of the newest weight loss surgeries being performed is gastric sleeve surgery.  It is performed on people who are obese with a body mass index of 35 or more.  When a person has this surgery it involves removing a portion of their stomach and followed by the creation of a thin vertical sleeve of stomach about the size of a banana.  The surgeon staples the stomach using a stapling device.  This is where the leak complications can happen.

 

What causes a leak in this area?

 

There are two main reasons that a leak can occur:

 

  • At the staple line there can be leakages due to intra-abdominal pressure
  • Because of a gap or hole that develops somewhere along the staple closure line

 

Complications from a leak

 

When a leak happens it can cause a severe infection from the leakage of gastric contents and gastric fluids.  This infection can lead to two very serious complications.

 

  • Septic shock—this is when you have low blood pressure with an injury to all of your body’s systems
  • Sepsis—this when you have adverse symptoms that involve all of your body systems

 

Either of these can cause major organ failure, which is when many of your organ systems quit working and in time it can lead to death.

 

How will you know if you have a leak?

 

There are many different symptoms that you can have if you have this complication.  After having gastric sleeve surgery your surgeon will go over everything with you including any possible complications and the symptoms they would produce.  The symptoms for a leak may include:

 

  • Pain in your abdomen that does not better but only gets worse
  • You have swelling in your stomach
  • Left shoulder or chest pain
  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Dizziness
  • Any appearance of being sick
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath

 

You have a leak so how is it fixed?

 

Fixing this complication of gastric sleeve surgery involves either another surgery or putting in a drainage tube.

 

  • Normally surgery is the first and most common option since it hard to know if it is a leak or stomach bleeding from surgery. The surgeon will reopen the patient, close the hole, and clean up where it was leaking.  After surgery you will usually have to spend some time in Intensive Care to make sure that there are no more complications.  This second surgery will help to strengthen the staple line of the gastric sleeve.
  • Another option of fixing this complication is putting in a drainage tube to drain away the stomach acids.  During this time you will be fed either intravenously or using a catheter.  This will allow your stomach to heal so the leak will stop and also will help keep the stomach acids from reaching any other organs.

 

In Conclusion

 

This is a rare complication and occurs in one out one hundred patients.  It can be a life threatening complication if it is not taken care of so bottom line is if something does not feel right, seek immediate medical attention.

 

Weight Loss Surgery and Gastric Sleeve Dumping Syndrome

 

What Is Gastric Dumping Syndrome

Causes of Gastric Dumping Syndrome

Gastric Dumping Syndrome is a common bariatric surgery issue, specifically with Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass.  After having weight loss surgery the way a person eats changes dramatically.  Gone are the large meals because the stomach is reduced by approximately eighty to eighty-five percent leaving only a sleeve or tube that is the shape of a banana.  The new stomach you have after gastric sleeve surgery does function normally so you do not have as many food restrictions but you just cannot eat as much.

 

What is gastric dumping syndrome and why do you get it?

 

This is the problem that can develop, especially if there are foods eaten that are have a high content of sugar.  It is also referred to as rapid gastric emptying.  It is very common to have this after having gastric sleeve surgery.  Normally a person will experience it after eating but in some cases it will happen one to three hours later.  There are some people who have gastric dumping syndrome at both times.

 

When you have had gastric sleeve surgery the opening that is between your stomach and small intestine has been removed.  The opening at stomach, called the pylorus acted as a brake before surgery to help your stomach empty slowly.  Since there is no longer a “brake” the stomach contents just rushes into your small intestine. As a result your body reacts by adding a big amount of gastric juices to your small intestine.

 

What are the symptoms of gastric dumping syndrome?

 

Gastric dumping syndrome is actually a group of symptoms.  Some of these symptoms can include:

 

  • Gastrointestinal
    1. Nausea
    2. Vomiting
    3. Abdominal cramps
    4. Diarrhea
    5. Fullness feeling

 

  • Cardiovascular
    1. Flushing
    2. Feeling lightheaded and/or dizziness
    3. Rapid heart rate and/or heart palpitations

 

If a person has gastric dumping syndrome one to three hours after eating there are other symptoms that can happen.  These later symptoms are caused by dumping a large amount of sugar into their intestine.  The body responds by releasing a large of amount of insulin which is used to absorb this extra sugar.  This can cause hypoglycemia, which is a low level of sugar in your body.  These symptoms can include:

 

  • Hunger
  • Sweating
  • Feeling lightheaded and/or dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Rapid heart rate and/or heart palpitations

 

In conclusion

 

Doing a study on more than one thousand people who have had gastric sleeve surgery, all have experienced gastric dumping syndrome at some point in time.  Two-thirds had the early symptoms while the other third had the later symptoms.  There were a few who had both symptoms.  As you can see, it is a common problem after having weight loss surgery.  It is not a life threatening condition and can be easily remedied by changing their eating habits such as

 

  • Eat smaller meals
  • Avoid drinking anything with meals
  • Limit your intake of drinks and food with a high sugar content
  • Increase the amount of fiber in your diet
  • Stay away from foods that are acidic
  • Lie down at least ten to fifteen minutes after eating