Nausea and Vomiting after Weight Loss Surgery

Nausea and Vomiting after Weight Loss SurgeryEvery operation comes with its own set of risks and challenges that will occur during the recovery period. When you undergo Lap Band or gastric sleeve surgery, the focus of the operation is entirely on the stomach, so during the recovery process, it is common that there will be some discomfort in this area.

It is not uncommon to experience nausea and even vomiting after having weight loss surgery. Studies reveal that as many as 70% of gastric banding patients will experience nausea after weight loss surgery, and many will experience vomiting at least one time per week during recovery. Following gastric sleeve surgery, feelings of nausea should pass within about 48 hours after the operation.

Causes of Nausea

Many people experience nausea as a side effect of the sedation used during surgery. As the anesthesia and pain medications wear off it is not uncommon to experience surges of nausea. These feelings should not be prolonged, however, and will usually occur in the days immediately following surgery.

Long-term nausea is a different cause for concern, as it may indicate a larger complication or health concern. Some common causes of nausea include:

  • Obstruction of the stomach (especially after gastric banding)
  • Ulcer
  • Low blood sugar

In addition, eating too quickly, or eating foods that your weight loss surgeon has advised you against consuming may cause nausea and vomiting. To reduce your risk of nausea, follow your post-bariatric surgery diet as closely as possible. Remember to always give your body enough time to digest your food by eating slowly and taking only small bites.

One additional point of concern that may lead to nausea and vomiting after Lap Band surgery is the positioning of the band. Vomiting may occur as a result of the gastric band being too tight. If vomiting is a regular occurrence, talk with your weight loss surgeon about the positioning of your Lap Band.

While nausea will only cause discomfort, vomiting can actually be dangerous after weight loss surgery. In severe situations, vomiting may cause stretching of the stomach pouch, or can cause part of the stomach to slip through the gastric band. If vomiting becomes a frequent occurrence, it may require an additional operation to correct the issue. Most of the time vomiting is a result of eating too quickly or taking bites that are too large, so it is imperative that you follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding how you can decrease your risk for vomiting and nausea.