Surgical patients often experienced indigestion. Also, food intolerance, especially for food with a high fat or sugar content and for red meat, was a common side-effect of the surgery.
‘Dumping syndrome can occur as the result of rapid emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine. This is sometimes triggered when too much sugar or large amounts of food are consumed.’
The study included 249 obese patients who underwent the surgery and 295 obese controls, all of whom completed a questionnaire. Surgical patients completed the questionnaire two years after surgery.
Food intolerance for specific products was reported by 70.7 percent of postoperative patients compared with 16.9 percent of controls.
Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass operation, usually performed laparoscopically, involves making five to six small incisions in the abdomen through which a small scope connected to a video camera and surgical tools are inserted.
The surgeon staples the top portion of the stomach so it is separated from the bottom to create a small stomach pouch. This small pouch restricts food intake. A section of the small intestine called the jejunum is then attached to the small stomach pouch permitting food to bypass the lower stomach, the duodenum. This bypass reduces the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs.
"Most studies in weight loss surgery focus on the short-term effects of surgery, and there was limited knowledge about the effect of a gastric bypass on gastrointestinal complaints in the long term," said Dr. Thomas Boerlage, lead author of the British Journal of Surgery study.
"With this study, physicians can better counsel their patients, both before and after surgery. It also helps patients considering a gastric bypass to make a more well-thought decision."
- Berlage T.C.C. Et al., Gastrointestinal symptoms and food intolerance 2 years after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for morbid obesity, British Journal of Surgery (2016),