Hiccups After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

What Causes Hiccups After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

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Have you ever wondered why hiccups happen after gastric sleeve surgery? This post-operative symptom is more common than you might think. While the exact cause of this phenomenon isn’t known, there are several theories that may explain why it happens.

From changes in the anatomy of the digestive system to a decrease in stomach acid production, these theories offer some insight into why hiccups can be a common issue of gastric sleeve surgery. In this article, we’ll explore why hiccups might occur after gastric sleeve surgery and ways to manage them.

The Science Behind Hiccups

Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle, which cause a sudden closure of the vocal cords. This closure produces the characteristic “hic” sound. There are several potential reasons that patients may experience hiccups following gastric sleeve surgery.

1. Altered Stomach Anatomy

During gastric sleeve surgery, a portion of the stomach is removed, leaving behind a smaller, sleeve-shaped pouch. This new stomach size may result in changes to the way food is processed, potentially irritating the diaphragm or phrenic nerves, which control the hiccup reflex. Additionally, the newly formed stomach pouch may be more prone to gas or acid reflux, which can stimulate hiccups.

2. Changes to Eating Habits

After undergoing gastric sleeve surgery, patients must adhere to a modified diet to accommodate the smaller stomach. A diet plan after gastric sleeve surgery typically includes smaller portion sizes, chewing food thoroughly, and consuming foods that are easy to digest.

Eating too quickly or consuming large bites of food can make it difficult for the new stomach pouch to process food properly, leading to increased gas production and the potential for hiccups. Furthermore, gas-forming foods (such as carbonated beverages and certain vegetables) are a known culprit for increased hiccup occurrence.

3. Anesthesia and Medications

It’s not uncommon for individuals to experience hiccups following anesthesia or while taking prescribed medications post-surgery. These substances can irritate the diaphragm or nerves involved in the hiccup reflex.

4. Reduced Stomach Acid Production

Following gastric sleeve surgery, the amount of stomach acid produced may be significantly reduced. This can make it more difficult for the body to digest and absorb nutrients, leading to an increase in gas production and hiccups.

Managing Hiccups After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Although hiccups can be annoying, they are usually harmless and will resolve on their own. However, if you find that hiccups are interfering with your quality of life, there are a few strategies you can try:

  • Practice mindful eating: Slow down your eating, take smaller bites, and chew food thoroughly. This can help prevent gas buildup in the stomach, which can trigger hiccups.
  • Avoid gas-producing foods and drinks: Limit your consumption of carbonated beverages and well-known gas-forming foods, such as beans, onions, and certain vegetables.
  • Try simple remedies: Temporarily holding your breath, drinking a glass of cold water, or gently massaging the abdomen can help to alleviate hiccups.
  • Consult your medical team: If your hiccups persist or become increasingly bothersome, consult your surgeon or healthcare provider for guidance on managing this issue.

By understanding why hiccups occur after gastric sleeve surgery, you can take proactive steps to manage them and maintain your quality of life. Be sure to discuss any post-operative issues with your healthcare provider so that they can provide appropriate advice and treatment options. Also, make sure to choose a qualified surgeon if you are considering gastric sleeve surgery to get the best possible care and results. You may also check out https://bariatricsurgeries.com/procedures/gastric-sleeve/ to learn more.

To Conclude

Hiccups after gastric sleeve surgery are a common occurrence due to various factors, including changes to stomach anatomy, new eating habits, and medications. By being mindful of your eating habits and seeking guidance from your healthcare team, you can better manage and alleviate hiccup episodes as you adjust to life after surgery. Thank you for reading!