Potential Problems

Problems that may occur following gastric bypass and suggested dietary modifications are:

Nausea and vomiting:
This is frequently encountered and may suggest either poor dietary compliance or a potential technical problem including narrowing of the gastric anastomosis or an ulcer in the pouch. If nausea and vomiting occur after eating a new food, wait several days before trying it again. It may be necessary to eat more liquid or pureed foods temporarily. Eating too fast, eating too much, or insufficient chewing may also cause nausea or vomiting. Rest your stomach for two to four hours and then try eating again. If the problem persists, contact your surgeon to rule out an ulcer or narrowing.
Dumping Syndrome:
Dumping Syndrome occurs when the contents of the stomach empty too quickly into the small intestine, causing nausea, cramping, diarrhea, sweating, faintness and palpitations. Try solid meals, low in simple sugars but high in complex carbohydrates. Try to avoid simple sugars. Check lactose tolerance.
Pain in shoulder or upper chest area:
Stop eating if pain occurs during eating and try to eat later after the pain has resolved.
This may occur with inadequate fluid intake or with persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. At least six cups of fluids daily are recommended.
Lactose intolerance:
Use lactose-treated milk and lactase enzyme tablets.
This may occur temporarily during the first postoperative month but generally resolves with adaptation to changes in the volume of food. Consuming fruits and juices regularly usually reduces the risk of recurring constipation.
Limit ingestion of high-fiber foods, greasy foods, milk and milk products, very hot or cold foods. Eat small frequent meals. Drink plenty of fluids.
Blockage of the stoma:
The stoma (connection) may be temporarily blocked if foods with large particles are eaten without thoroughly chewing. If symptoms of pain, nausea, and vomiting persist, a physician should be contacted.
If any of the above problems persist for more than a few days, please contact your surgeon immediately.