Posted by on Aug 2, 2018 in Breathing Facts | 0 comments

Trouble Breathing After Surgery

The risks of bariatric surgery are high and recent studies show that about 40 percent of patients who undergo bariatric surgery experience some sort of problem. The trouble breathing after surgery range from mild to severe. Before you choose this type of procedure, make sure you know the major risks of bariatric surgery.

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Dumping – Dumping is a very common risk occurring in about 20 percent of patients. Dumping often occurs when a patient eats certain foods that cause vomiting, bloating and diarrhea. Types of food that cause dumping are sugar, alcohol and high fiber foods.

Leaking at the surgical site – This complication occurs in about 12 percent of all patients and can be a very serious complication if not found early. Most surgeons will do a test for leaks after surgery before allowing the patient to begin eating. If leaking goes undetected it can cause massive abdominal infection. If leaking at the surgical site happens, another surgery is necessary to correct it.

A hernia at the surgical site – Although not as common and occurring in only about 7 percent of all patients, this risk necessitates additional surgery to correct. A hernia is a weakness or tears in a muscle that allows the underlying tissue to protrude. Because the muscle has been cut during surgery the likelihood of this happening is greater. Hernias can become serious if left untreated. The muscle can cut off the blood flow of the tissue that is protruding through it. This can be especially serious if the tissue protruding through the muscle is an intestine.

Infections – Infections take place in about 6 percent of patients undergoing bariatric surgery. Infections can occur for multiple reasons. Improper wound care and leaking are common reasons. Certain bacteria such as staff are found in greater numbers in hospitals. Make sure anyone who touches your surgical site washes their hands or wears gloves to prevent bacteria from being introduced into the trouble breathing after surgerywound.

Pneumonia – About 4 percent of patients develop pneumonia postoperatively. General anesthesia compromises the lungs. Patients are instructed to breathe deeply in order to prevent pneumonia. Vomiting due to dumping or anesthesia can cause bariatric surgery patients to inhale stomach contents. Since the lungs are a sterile environment any foreign matter that gets inside causes the body to react. This reaction is what causes pneumonia.

Mortality – Less than 1 percent of patients who have bariatric surgery actually die. The mortality rate for bariatric surgery has continued to drop as techniques have improved. Surgeons are learning what works best both pre and postoperatively to decrease the rate of death. The chance of dying from bariatric surgery is now less than the chance of dying from obesity.

Be sure to know the facts about this type of surgery and to discuss any possible complications with your surgeon before undergoing this procedure. Understanding the major risk factors of bariatric surgery will help you to make a well-informed choice as you further discuss your options with your doctor.

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