While gastric bypass is the most common bariatric surgery, it is also the most complex and has the potential for more complications. While it is an excellent option for many, significant long-term side effects can result in a patient going to reverse gastric bypass.

When Should Reverse Gastric Bypass Be Considered?

While your surgeon has probably talked to you about potential complications of gastric bypass surgery, such as long-term vitamin or nutrient deficiencies that require lifelong supplementation, the surgery is generally safe and produces excellent results for most patients.

However, for some, the side effects of surgery are very significant, and reverse gastric bypass is considered.

Some Reasons Why Gastric Bypass Reversal is Necessary

Severe food intolerances and nutritional complications: Food intolerances, such as the inability to eat solid foods, may become a significant problem for some patients after gastric bypass surgery.

Malnutrition: Malnutrition may develop in patients who cannot absorb adequate vitamins and minerals due to the changing anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract. Persistent malnutrition can lead to a variety of other health complications.

Persistent nausea, vomiting, or chronic abdominal pain: Some patients experience chronic nausea, vomiting, or severe abdominal pain that does not go away. If your symptoms become tough enough to affect your daily functioning, it’s time to talk to your doctor.

Metabolic complications such as postprandial hypoglycemia: After eating, your blood sugar needs to rise because of the sugars in food. With a metabolic condition called postprandial hypoglycemia, your blood sugar drops within four hours of eating a high-carb meal, causing symptoms such as anxiety, lightheadedness, headache, sweating, weakness, fatigue, or lightheadedness. In severe cases, fainting and seizures may occur.

Dumping syndrome: Classified by a group of symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness, dumping syndrome results from rapid gastric emptying. In dumping syndrome, food passes directly from your newly formed stomach pouch to your small intestine without fully digested, causing unwanted and uncomfortable symptoms.

Frequent ulcers and internal hernias: If severe enough, emergency surgery may be required and may consider the reverse gastric bypass.

What Can Be Expected With Reverse Gastric Bypass Reversal?

Gastric bypass surgery returns the stomach and intestines to their original placement. While surgery can be done, it is complex and has the potential for more complications.

Since reverse gastric bypass is the second surgery, it is more complex and risky for leakage, increased bleeding, infection, and scar tissue formation. Therefore, you should consider gastric bypass reversal only after all other attempts have failed to manage post-operative side effects.


As the gastrointestinal system anatomy returns to normal with gastric bypass reversal, there is weight gain after surgery. With the return to the standard anatomical structure, the stomach can process more food, and it takes longer for the feeling of satiety to settle.