Weight Loss Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery can help you achieve your weight loss goals, leading to a healthier lifestyle. By surgically changing your gastrointestinal tract, the surgery helps you eat smaller meals and absorb fewer calories. This leads to profound weight loss and improved health. Once you've had gastric bypass surgery your internal anatomy is changed forever, but from the outside you will appear 100% healthy. Many standard first aid procedures and treatments will cause harm after you've undergone gastric bypass surgery. A medical alert bracelet tells paramedics and other healthcare providers you've had gastric bypass surgery so they can avoid these potentially dangerous interventions


Types of Weight Loss Surgery

The gold standard gastric bypass surgery is Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. This procedure makes the "stomach" smaller and food and medications pass by without being absorbed.

The second most common weight loss surgery is a Sleeve Gastrectomy. In a sleeve gastrectomy, part of the stomach is removed leaving a much smaller area for swallowed food.

Gastric Banding is a weight loss surgery where a band is placed around the stomach to prevent it from expanding, making patients feel full after eating small amounts of food.

The final common type of weight loss surgery is Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch. This procedure leads to profound weight loss, but is often associated with serious complications, including malabsorption.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Medical Alert Bracelets

If you have had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery you face two important risks if you do not tell your medical providers about your medical history of weight loss surgery. The first is the risk of ulcers. After gastric bypass surgery a patient’s internal anatomy is changed. If you take or are given non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, you run the risk of rapidly developing severe ulcers. If left untreated, these ulcers can bleed and can even be fatal. 

The second risk involves NG tubes. Emergency medical technicians and physicians often place nasogastric (NG) tubes during an emergency. If an NG tube is placed into the gastric pouch (the small "stomach" area that remains after roux en-Y gastric bypass surgery), it could damage the pouch and cause internal bleeding. By wearing a medical alert bracelet, emergency personnel will know to avoid this dangerous procedure.

Bariatric Surgery and Medical Alert Bracelets

Most forms of bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery require lifelong medical follow up. Long- term complications from bariatric surgery include:

Post-gastric bypass hypoglycemia – Low blood sugar occurring after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
Dumping Syndrome – Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea usually caused by eating simple sugars
Gallstones – Stones that form in the gallbladder causing pain and possibly inflammation
Kidney stones – Nearly 10% of people who have had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass develop oxalate kidney stones, which could lead to kidney failure

Doctors need to know about your weight loss surgery to make correct and timely diagnoses. If you are unable to tell a medical professional about your surgery (e.g. you have a medical emergency that renders you confused or unconscious), a medical alert bracelet can relay this important information. Anyone who has had gastric bypass surgery should strongly consider getting a medical alert bracelet.