Gastric Bypass: What You Need to Know Before You Go Under the Knife

Tired of all your weight loss methods that donít work? Surgery may be your only lifesaver. In fact, some overweight people go to greater lengths by going under the knife to be able to lose weight fast. You might want to consider gastric bypass surgery to eliminate those unwanted bulges and flabs. In essence, it lowers the volume of the stomach by as much as 30 ml. This procedure, which is sometimes referred to as bariatric surgery, is the most preferred weight loss surgery by surgeons in the United States.

It is because this type of bariatric surgery is much safer and less risky than other weight-loss procedures. Compared with the other type of bariatric surgery (gastric banding surgery), this procedure does not easily lead to weight gain. And with consistent changes in a patientís lifestyle and behavior, the surgery can result in a long-term and immediate weight loss, as well as other health benefits such as treatment of sleep apnea and type II diabetes.

How safe it is?

The technology used in the weight loss surgery makes the operation much safer than before. Majority of bariatric procedures take advantage of the new laparoscopic technology, which uses a tiny video camera and other instruments to make very small incisions on the abdomen. Whereas before, surgeries of the stomach involved creating large incisions that usually caused intense pain and inflammation to patients. Smaller incisions using the laparoscopic technique leads to less pain, less swelling, fewer scars, and faster recovery rate.

How does it work?

Usually performed within two hours, the surgery involves making the stomach smaller by creating a line of staples that is joined to an end of the small bowel.

Is this surgery right for you?

It depends on your body mass index (BMI). You are a candidate for the surgery if your BMI is not less than 40. But if you have any serious disease such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or diabetes, your BMI must be at least 35 in order to undergo a weight-loss surgery. Otherwise, the surgeon may not allow you to go through the procedure because of the complications. Aside from the right physical condition, you must be emotionally and mentally prepared for the surgery. For the operation to be successful, you should be properly motivated and aware of the risks or complications that may arise. Also, surgery should always be the last resortómeaning you use it only after you have tried dieting and exercise but to no avail.

What are the risks?

Of course, any kind of surgery entails some risks due to the incisions involved in the operation. Deaths resulting from the surgery are very rare (about 0.1 to 2 percent). The complications of the surgery are bleeding, respiratory dysfunction, stenosis or the obstruction of stomach, and leaking due to the staples.

How to find the right surgeon?

Choosing the best surgeon is one of the most important decisions to make when it comes to weight-loss surgery. The surgeon is the only person to entrust your life and limb with, so to speak. So he or she must not only be competent, but also a person whom youíre comfortable dealing with. Also, look for a surgeon with a vast experience in gastric bypass surgery, preferably someone who has performed hundreds of operations. That way, you can be sure that your surgery is safe and effective.

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