Gastric Bypass Surgery

1 What is a Gastric Bypass Surgery?

To help you lose weight by reducing the absorption of nutrients or by limiting how much you can eat, gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries make changes to your digestive system.

These are done when you have serious health problems because of your weight or when diet and exercise haven't worked.

Gastric bypass is one of the most common types of bariatric surgery in the United States and this has fewer complications than do other weight-loss surgeries.

But this has side effects and serious risks. To help ensure the long-term success of bariatric surgery, you must make permanent healthy changes to your diet and get regular exercise.

2 Reasons for Procedure

Here are the most common reasons to undergo a gastric bypass surgery.

To help you lose excess weight and reduce your risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems, gastric bypass surgery is done.

It includes:

This is an option for you if:

  • you are obese or your MBI is 35 to 39.9
  • if you have a serious weigh-related health problem
  • your body has a mass index of 40 or extreme obesity

There are certain medical guidelines in order for you to be a candidate for gastric bypass. Your doctor will give you an extensive screening.

You must also be willing to make permanent changes to lead a healthier lifestyle. Your doctor may also tell you that this is an expensive surgery.

Consult your insurance company if they will cover this surgery.

3 Potential Risks

Gastric bypass may pose potential health risks such as:

  • infection
  • excessive bleeding
  • blood clots
  • adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • breathing or lung problems
  • leaks in your gastrointestinal system
  • death

Long term risks and complications may include:

4 Preparing for your Procedure

Your doctor will give you instructions in preparing for a gastric bypass surgery. Before the surgery, you may need to have various lab tests and exams.

You may have restrictions on eating and drinking and which medications you can take. You may also want to plan for your after recovery.

5 What to Expect

Read on to learn more about what to expect before, during, and after your gastric bypass surgery.

General anesthesia is used for weight-loss surgery. Some weight-loss surgeries are done with traditional large, or open, incisions in your abdomen.

Laparoscopically is one of the weight-loss surgeries nowadays. A laparoscope is a small, tubular instrument with a camera attached.

The laparoscope is inserted through small incisions in the abdomen. The tiny camera on the tip of the laparoscope allows the surgeon to see and operate inside your abdomen.

This will take you for hours. Your hospital stay may last from three to five days.

Some of the bariatric surgeries include:

Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch - the valve that releases food to the small intestine (the pyloric valve) remains, along with a limited portion of the small intestine that normally connects to the stomach (duodenum) and about 80 percent of the stomach is removed.

This surgery both limits how much you can eat and reduces the absorption of nutrients. It's generally used for people who have a body mass index greater than 50;

Roux-en-Y – this is the most common method and not reversible. Your doctor cuts across the top of your stomach, sealing it off from the rest of your stomach.

The resulting pouch is about the size of a walnut and can hold only about an ounce of food then he cuts the small intestine and sews part of it directly onto the pouch.

Food then goes into this small pouch of the stomach and then directly into the small intestine sewn to it.

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) - the doctor positions an inflatable band around the uppermost part of the stomach. It compresses the stomach, acting like a belt that tightens when the band is inflated.

This separates the stomach into two parts, with a very small upper pouch that communicates with the rest of the stomach through a channel created by the band.

Vertical banded gastroplasty – this is also known as stomach stapling because it will divide the stomach into two parts so you will have restrictions on food.

This weight-loss surgery isn't as popular as other types because it generally doesn't lead to adequate long-term weight loss.

Sleeve gastrectomy – also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy is the newest type. The structure of your stomach is changed to be shaped like a tube, which restricts a number of calories your body absorbs. Depending on your specific situation is the type of weight-loss surgery that is best for you.

Your doctor will take many factors into account, including your body mass index, eating habits, any previous surgery, health problems and the risks of each procedure.

After the surgery, you may not be allowed to eat for one to two days to let the digestive system heal and then you will have a diet that begins with liquid first.

You can eat regular foods as you progress. You may need laboratory testing, blood work, and various exams.

You may experience some of these in the first three to six months:

  • dry skin
  • body aches
  • feeling cold
  • feeling tired
  • mood changes
  • hair thinning and hair loss

6 Procedure Results

If you do not understand your gastric bypass surgery results, consult with your doctor.

Depending on what type of surgery you have that is the amount of the weight that you lose. Gastric bypass and other bariatric surgeries can provide long-term weight loss.

Gastric bypass surgery may improve or resolve conditions often related to being overweight such as:

Sometimes this surgery does not work as you like them to be, maybe because during or after the surgery something may go wrong.

It is possible that you may develop serious health problems if the surgery did not work. Consult your doctor if this happens.

Even if the procedure itself works correctly, it's also possible to not lose enough weight or to regain weight after any type of weight-loss surgery.

Make permanent healthy changes in your diet and get regular physical activity and exercise to help avoid regaining weight.

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