Efferent loop syndrome is one of two "loop syndromes" that can happen after some types
of gastric surgery. In a loop syndrome, part of the small intestine becomes
other type of loop syndrome is afferent loop syndrome. it is more common. Efferent
loop syndrome is quite rare. Surgeons have improved gastric surgery, so both types of
loop syndromes are now less common.
Efferent loop syndrome more often occurs in the first few weeks after gastric surgery.
It often happens because of swelling and kinking at the surgical site. This causes a
blockage. This is because of scarring or poor reconstruction during the weight-loss
surgery. When it happens later on, the cause may be from narrowing, sores (ulceration),
or scarring. In some cases, part of your intestine may slide inside another part of the
intestine (intussusception). This is caused by an efferent loop blockage.
Because of efferent loop syndrome, digestive fluids such as bile and other enzymes
build up in the intestines and start to cause problems. Rarely, intestinal wall breaks
may have the following symptoms:
your healthcare provider thinks you have efferent loop syndrome because of gastric
bypass surgery, he or she may do a physical exam, upper gastrointestinal X-ray, or a CT
scan to look for the blockage. Your healthcare provider may use a thin, lighted tube
with a tiny camera at the end (endoscope) to confirm the diagnosis. He or she will put
the scope through your mouth and into your intestines.
Surgery is often needed to fix efferent loop syndrome and restore the intestines to
healthy working order. Depending on how severe the efferent loop syndrome has become,
the surgeon may have to repair lesions and close any defects to repair the intestine.
He or she may need to make changes or repairs to the gastric surgery itself.
If the cause is swelling or scarring, you may need to limit food and
fluids. You many also need to take medicines to reduce stomach acid, and use a
nasogastric tube to remove the buildup of fluids.
your healthcare provider right away if you have symptoms of efferent loop syndrome any
time after your weight-loss surgery.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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