Gastric Bypass

Gastric Bypass

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Gastric Bypass surgery is known as the gold standard with regard to Bariatric Surgery. It is the one surgery that hasn’t changed all that much, due to the results that it provides. Known as the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the procedure not only restricts the size of the stomach, but also re-routes the small intestines, for malabsorptive effects.

Your surgeon will create a smaller stomach pouch, and will attach a section of the small intestine to the pouch, bypassing the rest of the small intestine which is responsible for absorbing calories and nutrients. Because your stomach will be smaller, you will feel the sensation of being “full” sooner than you are used to, which means you will be consuming less food. Since a large portion of the small intestine is bypassed, you will also be absorbing fewer calories and food will be reaching the large intestine and colon quicker, thus leading to weight loss.

The pouch is created using staples, and the procedure is usually done laparoscopically to help the patient with scarring and the healing process. Patients usually notice weight loss after the first week or so, and will continue seeing steady results for up to 12 months as long as their lifestyle remains healthy and active. Studies have shown that a large percent of patients lose approximately one third of their excess weight in 1-4 years.

With any surgery, there are certain advantages and disadvantages to having the operation.

Benefits and Advantages:

  • More than 70% of patients reported losing 75-80% of their excess weight
  • This procedure has the most consistent results for weight loss
  • Studies have shown a drop in co-morbid conditions by up to 96% after having surgery
  • Most patients report a general uplift in their mood, self esteem and a more energetic approach on each day
  • More than 70 to 80% of patients with hypertension will be relieved of symptoms and are able to stop medications
  • Improved symptoms include sleep apnea, asthma, joint pain, arthritis, reflux, fatigue, and shortness of breath

Risks and Disadvantages:

  • This surgery, as with all bariatric procedures, is only a TOOL. Your commitment is vital to sustaining weight loss for your entire life.
  • Bleeding, infections and leaks have been noted in certain patients, and occasionally require additional surgeries to repair
  • Because the majority of your small intestine is bypassed, it is extremely important that you take vitamins daily to make up for the nutrients that your body is unable to absorb
  • This surgery is reversible if done by a highly skilled revision specialist
  • “Dumping Syndrome” occurs when patients consume sugary foods or empty carbs. This can result in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. HOWEVER, dumping syndrome is looked at by some as a positive result, as it reminds patients what foods they should not be consuming.