Having a Bariatric Surgery can be challenging due to the lifestyle changes you need to make, medication to avoid, and other long-term complications. But wearing a medical alert bracelet for gastric bypass surgery can help communicate to others that you have had the procedure. And importantly, bring a little peace of mind to help feel like yourself again.
What is Gastric Bypass / Bariatric Surgery?
Gastric Bypass is a type of weight-loss surgery that involves creating a small pouch in the stomach and connecting the newly created pouch directly to the small intestine. After Gastric Bypass, swallowed food will go into this small pouch and then directly into the small intestine, thereby bypassing most of your stomach and the first section of your small intestine. This reduces hunger in patients, as well as the drive to eat for pleasure and will ensure a significant weight loss as it’s a permanent procedure.
Gastric Bypass is one of the most performed types of Bariatric surgery, however, this is not a procedure that can be requested by everyone as most candidates can only qualify if they have a BMI of 35 or higher, with specific significant health problems such as Type 2 Diabetes, sleep apnoea or high blood pressure.
Why is Bariatric surgery performed?
Gastric Bypass is performed to help people lose excess weight when no other option has worked. This can also reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems, such as:
Read more on why Gastric Bypass is performed at: Mayoclinic.org
How can a gastric bypass medical bracelet support you in an emergency?
A medical bracelet (or necklace) is designed to alert people of your medical conditions or any other concerns you might have that may be relevant to your care, if you become unconscious or otherwise incapacitated. Medical alert jewellery is conveniently placed at your pulse points at your wrist and neck, so when first responders check your pulse, they will automatically find out what conditions you have or what medication you take, so the right treatment can be administered quickly.
Do I need a medical bracelet if I’ve had Gastric Bypass surgery?
Gastric Bypass surgery can cause a variety of complications.
Having a Gastric Bypass can cause a variety of issues, some of which can be long term:
Some of these can cause severe complications and potentially life-threatening situations if not properly managed. If your surgery has caused you to have complications, adding this detail to your medical bracelet can help notify medical workers of the problem quicker, so you would be administered with the right treatment sooner.
Vitamins prevent malnutrition.
After weight loss surgery, your body may not absorb enough vitamins and minerals - specifically, Iron, Vitamin B12, Calcium and Vitamin D. It is essential that after bariatric surgery you take vitamins supplements for the rest of your life. Serious illness can result from non-compliance with your vitamin and mineral guidelines. Mood, energy, and focus can also be affected from a lack of proper vitamins after surgery.
Wearing medical jewellery not only notifies medical staff that vitamins must be taken when staying in hospital but can also serve as a reminder to the wearer that they need to take their vitamins each day.
NSAIDs can cause stomach ulcers.
Bariatric patients should stay away from Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen. Due to the reduced size of the stomach, taking NSAIDs after the procedure risks serious damage to the stomach pouch, which may result in gastric ulcers, which can be excruciating and dangerous if left untreated.
A medical bracelet will alert medical staff that you cannot have NSAID medication, so they will treat you with something that will not cause damage. A medical bracelet can also serve as reminder to the wearer that they themselves cannot have NSAIDs, so when they are in pain, they will be reminded that medication such as Ibuprofen will do more harm than good.
Have a look at our No NSAIDs medical wristband.
Be cautious of Dumping Syndrome.
Eating too quickly or overeating after Gastric Bypass surgery can result in ‘Dumping Syndrome’, also known as ‘Rapid Gastric Emptying’. This occurs when food, especially sugar, moves from your stomach into your small bowel too quickly, causing abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting.
Generally, you can help prevent Dumping Syndrome by changing your diet after surgery. Changes might include eating smaller meals and limiting high-sugar foods. In more serious cases of Dumping Syndrome, you may need medication. Mayoclinic.org explains Dumping Syndrome in more detail.
Adding a small message about this to your medical bracelet can help remind you to eat more slowly and to eat less during meals to avoid becoming ill.
Is Gastric Bypass Surgery an easy way to lose weight?
Many people see bariatric surgery as an easy way to lose weight, but this isn't true. Particularly for Gastric Bypass patients, the surgery is irreversible, and the recovery is long and difficult. It is a huge change for someone to go through, and as previously mentioned, can cause a variety of complications.
A medical bracelet can serve as a positive reminder that you have undergone this life-changing surgery for the better, and to improve your health.
What should I engrave on my Gastric Bypass bracelet?
Your bracelet might state a diagnosis, so your symptoms are instantly recognised, or it could give a directive such as “Call (Name) on +44 123 456789”, so your family can be notified of what has happened and advise doctors on your behalf.
As a guideline, your bracelet should say, "Gastric Bypass”, or “Had Bariatric Surgery”, so it explains your symptoms when you cannot. You may wish to include your name, any other conditions you may have, details of any allergies and where to find your vitamins. You could also add abbreviations to your medical bracelet as this would free up space for you to add more information. Instead of Gastric Bypass, you might want to add “WLS” for Weight Loss Surgery or RNY for Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.
We recommend that all medical bracelets or necklaces include a medical symbol. This means that if you become unwell and are unable to communicate, people that check your pulse can find your medical alert bracelet and information about your Gastric Bypass. Helping others to understand your condition means you can receive the right treatment, as symbols will attract the attention of medical staff.
Check out our full range of medical alert bracelets that can be custom engraved with details of your Gastric Bypass Surgery. Or choose a medical ID necklace to let others know that you have had bariatric surgery. Our Covert dog tag necklace is a good choice if you would like lots of engraving space for extra conditions or emergency contacts.
Where to go for more support:
If you’ve just found out from your doctor that you need Gastric Bypass surgery, you might feel overwhelmed or unsure as to how you should manage your condition. However, it is important to connect with others who’ve had this surgery as they are likely to share similar experiences. You may also find it helpful to read about other people’s experiences with Gastric Bypass.
Read more on how to diet after weight loss surgery.
WLSinfo.org.uk helps people who’ve had weight loss surgery or are considering it. Here you can find a support group near you.
Theinstantpottable.com explains why Gastric Bypass patients should wear a medical bracelet.
Check out Lisa Coleman's experience with Gastric Bypass surgery in this blog post.
If you’ve had Gastric Bypass surgery, wearing a medical alert bracelet can allow you to feel like yourself again. You can choose your own style, design and engraving and let others know how to help you in an emergency. Equally, friends and family members are reassured by the fact that they can keep in contact with you. Have a browse of our full range of medical jewellery.
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