In a gastric bypass the connection between he stomach pouch and the small intestine is called the gastrojejunal anastomosis. It is roughly the diameter of a ladies little finger. This small opening slows food from leaving the stomach too quickly prolonging the satiated feeling. In extremely rare cases scar tissue may form at this connection resulting in a blocked outlet. Treatment to correct this is the insertion, endoscopically, of a special balloon. The balloon is inflated and expands the anastomosis returning it to the correct size.
If a patient has symptoms of blockage that is not the result of overfilling the stomach pouch they must seek the advice of their bariatric professional. The symptoms include chronic vomiting and food intolerance.
More commonly, a blockage of the anastomosis is caused by poorly chewed foods. Patients must be diligent in avoiding foods that may cause a blockage. This includes large pills, some types or too much bread, overcooked or chewy meats, starches and nuts. If a pill becomes lodged in the stomach outlet it will usually dissolve after a few hours. If food becomes affected it will be painful to the patient. Food will eventually digest and dislodge itself in most cases. In extreme cases a patient may need to have an endoscopy to dislodge the offending food. Patients in the habit of chewing their food will rarely encounter a blockage or plugged outlet.
When patients do suffer a mild blockage they can find usually relief by taking a dose of Pepto-Bismol and returning to soft foods such as gelatin or broth for a day or two.
Copyright © 2005 Kaye Bailey – All Rights Reserved.