How Gastric Bypass Works



Gastric bypass surgeries and other weight loss medical procedures being performed in the United States are increasing for the last few years. This may be in response for the increase in the number of people suffering from obesity. According to the American Society of Bariatric Surgery, there are about 140,000 gastric bypass being performed every year.

Those who have undergone weight loss surgeries, lose about 50 to 60% of their body weight, a year after the surgery. Along with the weight loss, they would also be losing ailments associated with obesity like high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart diseases and even cancer.

The Procedure

The most common gastric bypass performed is called the Roux-en Y gastric bypass. In this procedure, a small pouch is created on the top of the stomach. It is stapled, to seal it off from the rest of the stomach. This small pouch will no longer digest any food. The upper part of the small intestine, the duodenum, is attached to this small pouch.

When eating, the food would bypass the small pouch in the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. The food would go directly to the middle section of the intestine called the jejunum. Since it is the small intestine that does the absorption of minerals, vitamins and calories, the body will absorb limited calories only. A Y formation is formed just below the stomach.

Incisions are made in the abdomen to perform the procedure. Surgeons will be using the laparoscope or a small, tubular instrument with a camera. This will enable the surgeon to see the abdomen and perform the surgery. The laparoscopic gastric bypass actually makes the stay in the hospital and the recovery period shorter and quicker.

There are still “open” gastric bypass performed, however, there could be wound-related problems with this kind of procedure. The laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. The procedure lasts for about four hours. Patients who have undergone the procedure stay in the hospital for about two to six days to be monitored for any complications.

After the Surgery

Having a smaller stomach has effects on how much food the patient can eat. There are special diets that a patient recovering from gastric bypass surgery follows. Every food that the patient would eat will be important for his nutrition. There are times that they are also recommended nutritional supplements to avoid deficiencies like anemia or vitamin deficiency.

There are patients reporting weight loss of as much as 50 to 60 percent a year after the surgery. There are even some who would report an astounding 80% weight loss. However, it is still possible for patients to stretch their stomachs and have that large size again. There is still a possibility of getting back those lost pounds. That is why doctors would recommend dietary restrictions and exercise plant that would keep the pounds away.

There are also tendencies that gastric bypass patients would develop gallstones, stomach ulcers, hernia or nutritional deficiencies. The part of the stomach which was bypassed can get enlarged, it could cause bloating and hiccups. There is also the Dumping syndrome which happens when the food moves quickly to the small intestine. This can happen after eating foods high in sugar or fat.






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