Q&A: What should I do about an potential obstructed bowel after gastric bypass surgery?

Ask A Doctor Question: 

i had gastric bypass surgery in June 2003 and Dr. Viglianco performed a successful surgery and I am still keeping the weight off, I went from 267lbs to 132lbs and very happy. January I had an episode of what felt like a gall bladder attack (i do not have one) and my abdomen was severely bloated I was vomiting several times a day, my doctor took xray and said I had an obstructed bowel, well I had a colonoscopy done and I couldnt be cleaned out enough to get results that was 3/27/15 had a CTscan in april and they said it was adhesions, and another CTscan of pelvic area and abdomen and they said it was "Post op changes to stomach due to Gastric Bypass", I am still having severe swelling, in upper abdomen and dull achy pain constantly, I do not know what to do now except contact you and see if someone can help me...I have swelling everyday, sometimes i can have diarehea and other times so constipated that it hurts to even walk...Please can someone help me, as I am so frustrated and I know if I do have an Obstructed Bowel it can be fatal, I do not want to live like this anymore, can someone give me some answers please.....

- Penny


Keith Norton Marshall, DO - LocateADoc.com

If you have a bowel obstruction, that usually means surgery. You need to under the care of an experienced Bariatric Surgeon. Other general surgeons are not familiar with complex bariatric cases and are often prejudiced against Bariatric patients, unfortunately. You may have an internal hernia. That means the the small bowel can get trapped inside itself. This is often not seen on CT scan. You need to get enough nutrition and might be malnourished. Check vitamins. You can call me anytime to discuss the case. 

--Keith Norton Marshall, DO
Warren, MI


Thomas White, MD - LocateADoc.com

You are absolutely correct that you may have a serious obstruction waiting to happen.  Please see your original Surgeon or another qualified Bariatric Surgeon to evaluate you.  If your conditions worsens at any time you need to go to the ER immediately.

--Thomas White, MD
Omaha, NE

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