Side Effects of Stomach Stapling

You eat too much, and you weigh too much. So you go to the doctor, and he proposes, to get you to eat less and lose weight, that he staple off a good chunk of your stomach, making your new stomach about the size of a walnut. He tells you that he can remove your small intestine from where it was previously attached and sew it on to your new smaller stomach. But, no promises on whether things are going to work like they used to. Sound like a nightmare? Welcome to the world of gastric bypass, formerly known as stomach stapling. Gastric bypass surgery may sound severe. That's because it is. It's generally not recommended for anyone who is not morbidly obese, and there are a lot of side effects.

Woman lying on coach and holding her stomach because of pain. Credit: Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

Generally Accepted Side Effects

Gastric bypass surgery isn't a typical in-and-out procedure. For people who used to eat too much and weight too much, a lot of weight is going to be shed in a very short amount of time. The loss of weight would be thought of as the main effect of gastric bypass. With it, you have typical aches and pains along with hair loss, dry skin, changes in mood and a feeling of being cold and/or being tired.

Positive Side Effects

Whoever said gastric bypass surgery was all bad? Besides getting a new lease on life with a soon-to-be-thinner chassis, there are other ways that a sudden loss of weight may benefit your health. Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels are for starters. And, if your weight was bringing you to the brink of the onset of type 2 diabetes, your risk for that just went down as well. These are some of the biggies, and you can team them up with a reduction in gas and fewer problems sleeping. Possibly the biggest beneficial side effect of all is that, from all these other benefits, your risk of heart disease just took a nosedive as well.

Negative Side Effect

Obviously with major surgery come major risks. The positive side effects of gastric bypass surgery wouldn't be the same if you didn't have the negatives to go along with them. The biggest among the negative side effects is obviously death. According to the Mayo Clinic, one out of every 200 gastric bypasses results in the patient's death. Sometimes the staples leak and you may need emergency surgery to fix the leak. Occasionally you could get a hernia in the incision. This, too, requires another surgery. Then there's the narrowing of the opening between the stomach and the newly attached intestine. Once again, probable surgery. And last, but not least, dumping syndrome. This is where the contents of your walnut-sized new stomach move at too great a rate through your newly attached small intestine. Complications include vomiting, diarrhea and sweating.

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