Around 71 percent of people who undertook the surgery reported food intolerance and digestive problems.
With the obesity epidemic raging in the U.S., the amount of people opting for weight loss surgery has risen dramatically. However, a new study has found a common type of stomach bypass surgery can result in long-term gastrointestinal problems and food intolerance.
Lead study author Dr. Thomas Boerlage of MC Slotervaart in Amsterdam, and his team examined data on 249 people with extreme obesity who had undergone a laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass that results in shrinking the stomach to approximately the size of an egg.
The surgeries were all successful in reducing overall body weight in the first two years by roughly 31 percent in those that undertook the surgery. However, compared to 295 obese patients that didn’t opt to have the surgery, those that did saw a higher occurrence of indigestion problems and the inability to tolerate more foods.
“It was already known from previous studies that the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass might aggravate gastrointestinal symptoms after surgery,” explained Boerlage. “However, most of these studies concern the first year after surgery.”
Around 71 percent of people who had the gastric bypass suffered from food intolerance compared with only 17 percent of those who didn’t. Half of those complaining of intolerance were experiencing at least 4 different types of aversion to foods while 14 percent reported the intolerance was severely affecting their quality of life.
It could be down to patients not following post-surgery guidelines on what foods they should avoid immediately following surgery say some experts, but a limitation of the study was reported by the authors as not knowing the full history of the patients pre-surgery digestive issues.
Many suggestions of weight loss surgery come for those who suffer from diabetes as the procedure can significantly improve blood glucose levels and can lead to people cutting back on diabetes medication.
Details of the study were published in the British Journal of Surgery.