Nestor F. de la Cruz-Muñoz, MD, FACS, answers some of the most common questions he is asked by his surgical weight loss patients.
NESTOR F. DE LA CRUZ-MUNOZ: Dumping syndrome is a much talked about not often seen entity after bariatric surgery. It's a chemical reaction where fluid rushes out of the bloodstream into the intestines, because the patient just had a liquidy, sugary food. Classic is ice cream or milkshakes. And so it draws the fluid out of the bloodstream. So it causes changes in the blood pressure with decreased blood pressure, heart palpitations, sweatiness, feeling like you're going to faint. And then, by all the fluid going into the intestines, it also causes problems with nausea and vomiting. It can cause diarrhea, stomach aches and pains. This is something that usually lasts about 20 to 30 minutes and then goes away. It's not anything that's going to kill anyone. It's just going to make them think they're dying for a little while. And it usually will happen with a bypass patient. Doesn't happen with every bypass patient. And some patients it only may happen for the first year or two. But what I tell our patients in reality is that most of them never get it. Because they're educated on how they could get it beforehand, they avoid the types of foods that can cause it. And so most never get it. Some people get it once. If they're real hard headed, they may get it twice. But it's always talked about. Interestingly, it was originally said that sleeves wouldn't get dumping syndrome, but they can get dumping syndrome as well. We've seen it in some of our sleeves. And so the biggest take home with this is avoid a milkshake or avoid a very sugary liquid, because it can cause you to feel sick for a while.