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Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration After Bariatric Surgery
Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Modern medical advancements have gone a long way towards making all types of surgeries safer than ever before, including bariatric surgeries. However, there are still risks involved. One of the biggest? Dehydration after surgery.

While it doesn’t get as much attention as other, less common complications, dehydration is actually the most common reason patients are readmitted to the hospital after bariatric surgery. If you are planning to get weight loss surgery in the near future, it is essential that you know the signs of dehydration after surgery.
 
 

Signs of Post-Surgery Dehydration

 
  • Feeling extra thirsty or craving water and other liquids
  • Having a sensation of dizziness
  • An unexplained fever
  • Dry or grayish skin
  • Feeling tired beyond what is expected after surgery
  • Being easily confused or struggling to think through simple processes
  • A headache that does not respond to medication
  • Hard stools or struggling to pass stools
  • Peeing less frequently
  • Dark urine
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes to blood pressure and heart rate
 
Know that not everyone will experience all symptoms or even more than one. So, if you notice anything that could signal you have dehydration after bariatric surgery, talk to your surgeon.
 

Why Dehydration Is Associated with Bariatric Surgery

 
Dehydration can occur after any surgical procedure, but it is more common with bariatric surgeries. You might be wondering why that is.
 
As your bariatric surgeon in Tijuana will likely explain, there are multiple reasons why it is more common after gastric surgery. These include:
 

Not Wanting to Eat

 
Many people lack an appetite after surgery in general. However, it is even more common after bariatric procedures, especially those that impact the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. While after surgery, you aren’t eating solid food anyhow, you do go on a liquid diet. If you don’t “eat” those liquids because you aren’t hungry, you end up dehydrated.
 

Decreased Stomach Capacity

 
While each bariatric surgery utilizes different approaches, they all function at least in part by reducing stomach capacity. This makes people feel fuller faster. When patients take in their liquid diet too quickly, it can lead to extreme fullness and leave them afraid to eat again later, resulting in dehydration.
 

Watery Bowel Movements

 
Diarrhea after bariatric surgery isn’t a guarantee, but it does happen in many cases. Dehydration after weight loss surgery is often related to this. If you experience diarrhea, let your surgeon know immediately so they can tell you what to do.
 
Of course, there is a lot more to life after bariatric surgery than just preventing and treating dehydration. To learn more, we suggest you read up on the bariatric diet stages. Or, if you are concerned about sagging skin, check out how to tighten loose skin after bariatric surgery.
 
 
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