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Causes and Treatment of Ulcers After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Causes and Treatment of Ulcers After Gastric Bypass Surgery


Ulcers are painful sores in the lining of the stomach that lead to bleeding and sometimes perforation. Ulcers after gastric bypass surgery are rare, but it helps to know the causes, types, treatment, and prevention before you undergo the procedure. 

What Causes Ulcers After Bypass Surgery?

The actual cause of gastric bypass ulcers is quite elusive, but surgeons state that it may be due to increased production of acids after the procedure. There are also speculations that it is caused by gastric irritations from food, drinks, and drugs like ibuprofen, Aleve, Motrin, aspirin, naproxen, and other NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs).

Additionally, h-pylori bacteria in the gut could increase the chances of developing ulcers. Smoking patients are also at risk of developing ulcer symptoms when blood is restricted from flowing into the stomach.

Types of Ulcers After Bypass Surgery

The common symptoms of an ulcer after gastric bypass include loss of appetite, abdominal pain, gas, nausea, vomiting, and blood in the stool. The rerouting of the intestines can cause two main types of ulcers in a patient: duodenum or jejunum ulcers. Duodenum ulcers are rare and are caused by erosion of the coating on the remaining stomach; these can be treated endoscopically. On the other hand, jejunum (marginal) ulcer forms due to erosion on the jejunal part a few centimeters into the anastomosis; this rarely occurs in the actual gastric pouch.

Treatment and Prevention of Ulcers Caused By Gastric Bypass

Luckily, most ulcers after surgeries heal naturally, leaving you without any complications. However, there are still instances where they become chronic and require urgent surgical or non-surgical treatment. For example, there are prescribed medications that effectively prevent acid production in the stomach.

Alternatively, in severe cases with perforations and wounds in the system, surgeons must operate. Before it gets to that, there are preventative measures that surgeons take. For instance, they can reduce the pouch size to lower acid levels or opt for absorbable sutures to prevent ulcerations.

You also have a role to play to avoid post-surgery ulcers. It helps to make lifestyle changes like eating healthy, drinking water, exercising, reducing stress levels, and avoiding fizzy drinks, alcohol, and smoking.

Rely on Your Doctor’s Recommendation

Gastric bypass and stomach ulcers are connected unless you strictly follow instructions from your doctor. Prevention is the safest route, and you can do that by being proactive, living a healthy lifestyle, and going for checkups often. If you detect any symptoms discussed above after gastric bypass in Manhattan, immediately consult us at Lenox Hill Hospital to address the underlying issue and avoid more severe complications.