More and more people are undergoing mini gastric bypass surgery to lose weight quickly and safely. Dr. Francisco Gonzalez has changed the lives of numerous patients thanks to this procedure. All surgeries do have their share of risks, however, and one such risk with mini gastric bypass is bile reflux.
Our team of Tijuana, Mexico weight loss surgery specialists would like to look at the link between mini gastric bypass and bile reflux. When you speak with the Oasis of Hope team, we can go over this topic in greater detail.
Bile is a dark green or yellowish-brown digestive fluid produced by the liver. It aids in the digestive process in the small intestine.
Bile reflux occurs when the bile backs up (refluxes) in the small intestine and winds up in your stomach. Sometimes bile reflux is so serious that the bile winds up in the esophagus.
Many people confuse bile reflux with acid reflux, but they are two separate conditions. Note that bile reflux involves fluid from the small intestine flowing into the stomach and esophagus. Acid reflux involves a flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. The conditions are sometimes interrelated, but they are distinct.
The most common signs and symptoms of bile reflux include:
There have been studies that found a link between mini gastric bypass surgery and instances of bile reflux. The incidence is relatively low, but worth noting.
One study published in 2017 found that bile reflux is somewhat likely after mini gastric bypass, though the bile backs up into the gastric tube rather than the esophagus. Another study published in February 2019 suggested that the increase in bile reflux was the result of higher bilirubin levels in mini gastric bypass patients.
Bilirubin is a substance that is made during the normal breakdown of red blood cells in the liver, eventually excreted from the body in the bile and urine.
This risk of bile reflux is one of the potential risks that can be discussed during the consultation process at our Tijuana weight loss surgery center.
The bile reflux risk is particularly important if a patient has a history of bile reflux or acid reflux prior to bariatric surgery. We may recommend another type of surgical weight loss treatment for the patient that will not increase the risk of bile reflux.
Keep in mind that for many patients, the benefits of a mini gastric bypass can outweigh the risks.
If you do develop bile reflux after a mini gastric bypass, there are many ways to manage the symptoms you experience:
If the above non-surgical approaches are ineffective, there are medications and surgeries that can help manage bile reflux.
For more information about treating bile reflux and improving your overall health and wellness following mini gastric bypass surgery, be sure to contact a skilled weight loss surgeon. At Oasis of Hope, we are here to help. You can reach us in Tijuana by phone at (619) 304-2084.