Surgical Complications After Gastric Bypass

Weight loss surgeries are performed on thousands of patients every year and in most cases patients are extremely satisfied with the weight loss results and there are few complications.

Some complications are common to all abdominal procedures, while some are specific to gastric bypass surgery. However, Gastric bypass Roux-En Y surgery is a complex procedure and surgical complications can occur. If you choose to undergo gastric bypass in Mexico, you should be thoroughly educated on the possible risks that can result from surgery.

Blood Clots

Overweight patients are at increased risk of blood clotting. After any surgery there is a risk of blood clotting due to the patients immobility. The main risk from post-surgery blood clots is a pulmonary embolism.

This is a blood clot that forms in a vein somewhere in the body, frequently in the leg, and travels through the veins to an artery in the lung or heart. This type of blood clot is extremely serious and can cause heart attacks, stroke and damage to the lung tissue.

Patients will be monitored post surgery for any small blood clots and may be given blood thinning medication to reduce the risk of blood clotting complications. Patients will also be advised to start light exercising as soon as possible after surgery to increase the flow of blood around the body.

Abdominal Fluid Leaks

During gastric bypass surgery the stomach is disconnected form the intestine and reconnected at a lower point.

When this re-connection is made, there is a chance of the connection failing- a rare surgical complication following gastric bypass surgery is fluid leaking from this connection into the abdomen. Fluid leaked from the intestine or bowel into the abdomen can cause serious infections and even an abscess.

Patients who do experience problems caused by damage to the connection between the intestines and the stomach will require surgery to drain the fluid and repair the leak.

Blockage of the Stomach Outlet

During gastric bypass surgery the stomach is disconnected from the intestine and is reconnected at a point lower down to reduce the distance food travels post-surgery – the restrictive method of gastric bypass surgery.

When the stomach is reconnected to the intestine, the outlet that allows the food to pass from the stomach to the digestive tract may narrow as scar tissue forms.

If the stomach outlet narrows and food is unable to leave the new smaller stomach pouch, patients will suffer severe vomiting and will require a corrective surgery.

This complication is very rare and most patients do not suffer any complications due to the new connection between the stomach and the intestine.


A rare complication but a risk associated with any surgical procedure, a hemorrhage is internal bleeding that can be life threatening.

The risk of hemorrhage following Gastric Bypass surgery is due to the blood vessels being cut to surgeons to create the smaller stomach pouch. If one of the blood vessels is not sealed properly when reconnected, internal bleeding can occur.

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