Medical Alerts for Seniors with Gastric Bypass

Medical Alerts for Seniors with Gastric Bypass

time icon 5 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


Gastric bypass surgery alters the stomach by dividing it in half to form a smaller pouch. After the surgery, the stomach holds far less food than the full-sized stomach. This surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed and accounts for 47 percent of all weight loss procedures.

Gastric Bypass Overview

Gastric bypass surgery in seniors is on the rise. A recent study performed by Columbia University’s Department of Surgery found that bariatric surgery performed on patients over the age of 60 offers the same benefits as it does to younger patients. Gastric bypass surgery involves a surgeon dividing the stomach to form a small pouch. The larger portion of the stomach is then bypassed, and the smaller section is stapled or sewn to hold about one cup of food.

The small pouch is then connected to the small intestine, so the larger part of the stomach is completely bypassed and no longer in use. By ensuring that the stomach can only hold a small amount of food, the person will feel full and satisfied more quickly, and can start to actively lose weight.

Gastric Bypass Impairment

Gastric bypass surgery is not without risk, and individuals who opt to undergo the procedure can suffer from some degree of impairment. When opting to undergo gastric bypass surgery, you must be sure that the benefits outweigh the possible risks. Obesity carries its own list of complications that can be far more severe than the possible impairments from bariatric surgery. After undergoing the procedure, most people can expect to lose 67 percent of their existing weight over the course of two years.

A few complications from gastric bypass surgery include:

  • Surgical infection
  • Bleeding
  • Ulcers
  • Continuing digestive problems
  • Inadequate nutrient absorption
  • Anemia
  • Osteoporosis as a result of insufficient calcium
Medical Alert Benefits

No surgery is without risk, and gastric bypass is no different. Directly after surgery, you may experience bleeding, infection, or ulcers that can become severe. You will also be sore and could fall. Medical alert systems give you the ability to summon help quickly if something should occur. It can also be a great stress reliever, as you can rest assured that help will be quickly on the way in the event of an emergency.

In very rare cases, gastric bypass surgery can lead to a variety of symptoms.

  • Constipation
  • Dumping syndrome: Caused by fast absorption of sugar, this condition leads to nausea, vomiting, and physical weakness
  • Gallstones
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding large intestine
  • Leaks in the gastrointestinal tract or abdomen
  • Sagging skin
Safety Without Medical Alerts

Many people opt to live their lives without medical alerts. When facing the daily physical changes produced by gastric bypass surgery, it is wise to make a few modifications in your lifestyle to ensure your safety.

  • Dumping syndrome: The physical weakness that occurs from dumping syndrome and from the overall surgery can make mobility a challenge. It is wise to use a cane or walker until you feel steady on your feet. You may also want to install handrails in your bathroom. A stand-and-assist beside your bed will help you get up and lie down.
  • Bleeding: Bleeding in the GI tract or extensive vomiting are emergency situations that require prompt medical treatment. You should always carry your cell phone with you from room to room. If you often forget or lose your cell phone, then it is beneficial to have a phone line installed in each room of your home.
  • Constipation: Constipation is a common after gastric bypass surgery. It can cause you to spend an excessive amount of time sitting on the toilet. You might feel weak or wobbly when you first rise from the toilet. A safety toilet frame will help you rise and sit down more easily.
Gastric Bypass Precautions
  • Heavy lifting: Avoid lifting anything that weighs more than 10 to 15 pounds.
  • Pushing or pulling: Do not do any activity that requires pushing or pulling.
  • Exercise: Increase your daily exercise levels slowly.
Gastric Bypass Medical Alerts Conclusion

Medical alert services are beneficial to anyone who has undergone gastric bypass surgery. Right after surgery, you may feel a bit shaky on your feet and be unable to immediately return to your normal functions. Even after full recovery from surgery, you may still be faced with side effects that could require emergency care.

Although gastric bypass surgery is not without risks, the long-term benefits are often priceless from a health standpoint. However, the road to recovery can be slow, so having medical alert services can enable you to quickly and efficiently summon help in the event of an emergency.

Kimberly Sharpe - Senior Advisor

Kimberly is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.