Dumping syndrome after gastric sleeve is one such potential (though not overly frequent) complication that you can, in fact, prevent by being prepared, so today we’re going to tell you about what it is, the symptoms you’ll experience, and how to avoid it.
Patients who are considering bariatric surgery like gastric sleeve often go through a research phase where they look into possible complications that could occur after the sleeve surgery.
It’s an important part of the process when you’re deciding if you want to have gastric sleeve surgery because knowing any side-effects or post-op difficulties can help you prepare for them and possibly avoid them altogether. So lets get started.
What Is Dumping Syndrome?
Dumping syndrome is another name for rapid gastric emptying, and this occurs when undigested food in your stomach gets dumped prematurely into the small intestine.
Usually, food stays in the stomach for up to five hours, and upon digestion, food gradually enters the small intestine. However, during an episode of dumping syndrome, food can be sent from the stomach to the small intestine in as little as 30 minutes and produces many uncomfortable symptoms.
The good news is that while dumping syndrome after gastric sleeve surgery is possible, it’s more common among patients who undergo a full gastric bypass. Furthermore, if you do experience dumping syndrome after gastric sleeve surgery, it isn’t a medical emergency, but rather an uncomfortable experience that will pass on its own.
Prevent Dumping Syndrome After Gastric Sleeve
Dumping syndrome most often happens when a post-op bariatric patient consumes high-fat or high-sugar foods, so preventing this complication can be as simple as being mindful of your diet.
For starters, it’s best to eat sugary and fatty foods or alcohol in moderation while including plenty of high-fiber foods in your diet. You can also prevent dumping syndrome by eating small portions, eating slowly, and taking time to chew your food thoroughly.
Finally, don’t drink while you eat, but instead, have water 30 minutes before eating or 30 minutes after.
Recognize Dumping Syndrome After Gastric Sleeve
Dumping syndrome typically has two stages, and whereas the first symptoms can appear within 30 minutes of eating, the remaining signs will present themselves within an hour or two of a meal. The initial symptoms of dumping syndrome include:
- Feeling full
The second set of symptoms occur because of a blood sugar drop that occurs after the body releases an abundance of insulin, and those symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, sweating, fatigue, a rapid heart rate, headache, and the inability to concentrate or think clearly.
Although dumping syndrome is more common among patients who have gastric bypass surgery, it can still happen after a gastric sleeve procedure. If you do experience the symptoms of dumping syndrome, it’s important to stay calm and remember that the symptoms will pass within a couple of hours and that despite the discomfort, you aren’t in any immediate medical danger.
As is often the case, prevention should be the first course of action when it comes to dumping syndrome, and that means eating a high-fiber diet, eating slowly, and avoiding sugary and fatty foods that could trigger an episode.