Rare Complication of the MGB: Blind Loop/Afferent Loop Syndrome

Rare Complication of the MGB: Blind Loop/Afferent Loop Syndrome:
This rare complication of the MGB (and other bypass surgery including RNY bypass) can be a debilitating, serious and deadly complication.

The most critical factor is recognition and therapy (usually with Flagyl, an antibiotic.)

Amplify’d from www.nlm.nih.gov

Blind loop syndrome

Blind loop syndrome occurs when part of the intestine becomes bypassed, so that digested food slows or stops moving through the intestines. This causes bacteria to grow too much in the intestines and leads to problems in absorbing nutrients.

Causes

Causes

The name of this condition refers to the “blind loop” formed by the bypassed intestine. This blind loop does not allow digested food to flow normally through the intestinal tract.

When a section of the intestine is affected by blind loop syndrome, the bilebile salts needed to digest fats become ineffective. This leads to in fatty stools and poor absorption of fat and fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin B12Vitamin B12 deficiency may occur because the extra bacteria that develop in this situation use up all of the vitamin.

Blind loop syndrome is a complication that occurs:

  • After many operations, including subtotal gastrectomygastrectomy (surgical removal of part of the stomach) and operations for extreme obesity
  • As a complication of inflammatory bowel diseaseinflammatory bowel disease

Diseases such as diabetesdiabetes or sclerodermascleroderma may slow down movement in a segment of the intestine, leading to blind loop syndrome.

Symptoms

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Exams and Tests

During a physical examination, the doctor may notice a mass in, or swelling of, the abdomen. Possible tests include:

Treatment

Treatment

Treatment generally starts with antibiotics for the excess bacteria growth, along with vitamin B12 supplements. If antibiotics don’t work, surgery to help the food flow through the intestine may be considered.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Outlook (Prognosis)

Many patients get better with antibiotics. If surgical repair is required, the outcome is typically very good.

Possible Complications

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of blind loop syndrome.

Alternative Names

Alternative Names

Stasis syndrome; Stagnant loop syndrome

References

References

Semrad Ce, Powell DW. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 143.

Evers BM. Small intestine. In: Townsend CM Jr., Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 48.

Update Date: 1/20/2010

Update Date: 1/20/2010

Updated by:
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

Read more at www.nlm.nih.gov

 

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