During gastric bypass surgery, your surgeon laparoscopically divides your stomach into a small pouch at the base of the esophagus, the tube through which food travels after it is swallowed. The small pouch becomes your new stomach or gastric pouch and can store about two ounces of food. The remaining, larger portion of your stomach remains in place and continues to produce digestive juices and enzymes as usual.
Next, your surgeon divides part of your small intestine, called the jejunum, and attaches one end to the gastric pouch and the other lower down to the small intestine. This effectively bypasses the first part of the small intestine known as the duodenum, removing it from its normal role of digesting and absorbing food. This results in fewer calories being absorbed and leads to weight loss.
Gastric bypass surgery has an excellent history of weight loss and is preferred by many people because developing the eating habits required for success after bariatric surgery may be easier than with adjustable gastric band. Most people find that their appetite is significantly reduced after gastric bypass, enabling them to focus on behavior change and developing habits for maintaining weight loss in the long-term.
- Limits the amount of food that can be eaten at a meal and reduces the desire to eat.
- Average excess weight loss is generally higher than with gastric banding or sleeve gastrectomy.
- No postoperative adjustments are required.
- An analysis of clinical studies reported an average excess weight loss of 62% in 4204 patients.
- Shown to help resolve type 2 diabetes (60-84%), high blood pressure (66%), obstructive sleep apnea (76%), and to help improve high cholesterol (94%).
- In a study of 608 gastric bypass patients, 553 maintained contact for 14 years; the study reported that significant weight loss was maintained at 14 years.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with abdominal surgery that include infection, bleeding disorders, injury to internal structures, and the potential for death.
In addition, gastric bypass surgery relies on changing the anatomy of your digestive system and reducing the amount of food that can be absorbed through your small intestines. Because of these changes, the following complications can occur after gastric bypass surgery:
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Protein deficiency
- Dumping syndrome
- Narrowing of anastomotic site
- Anastomotic leakage
- Anastomotic Ulcers
The complication rates after gastric bypass surgery are low, but you should be aware of potential complications and take the time to discuss them and any other concerns you may have with your doctor.
Once you and your Doctor decide that surgery will help you, you will need to learn what to expect from the surgery and create a treatment plan for the best results afterward. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.
- Before surgery, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcomes.
- Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before any major surgery.
- Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery
- Discuss with your doctor about options for preparing for potential blood replacement, including donating your own blood, medical interventions and other treatments, prior to surgery
- If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will help decrease the stress you place on your new joint. However, you should not diet during the month before your surgery
- If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications or warfarin or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimize bleeding
- If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery
- Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later
- Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron
- Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up
- Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry
Gastric bypass accomplishes two things:
- First—it reshapes the stomach into a much smaller pouch, so it can hold less food.
- Second—it adjusts your digestive tract so the food you eat bypasses a portion of the small intestine (where calories and nutrients are normally absorbed). You will feel fuller after eating smaller meals, and your body will absorb fewer calories and nutrients. The result is rapid, steady weight loss.
- Gastric bypass can improve or resolve obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. Many of our patients enjoy improved health and freedom from pills and medications.
Immediately following your gastric bypass surgery, you will need to alter your diet. This may result in some initial feelings of hunger and exhaustion while your body adjusts and recovers from undergoing surgery. Recovery will vary from patient to patient, which is why it is so important to attend support groups and have follow up check-ins with your surgeon.
Because Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 95% of all diabetes cases, is caused by obesity, gastric bypass surgery can improve or resolve diabetes in many cases. Bariatric surgery causes more than half of Type 2 Diabetes patients to go into remission by lowering blood sugar to normal levels, which eliminates the need for diabetes medications. If you are suffering from Type 2 Diabetes and would like to learn more about how gastric bypass could affect your health, schedule a bariatric consultation with us today
Moving forward with weight loss surgery is an in-depth process that must be taken seriously. Not everyone is a suitable candidate for gastric bypass, and we are extremely thorough during the screening process. If you are 30kg or more overweight, we recommend you schedule a consultation to determine your candidacy.
During consultation, we will take down a detailed medical history and talk to you about gastric bypass and our other surgical options in more detail. If we find that gastric bypass is not appropriate, we will work with you to find an alternative.
Regardless of the procedure they undergo, our patients continually tell us that they wish they had had treatment sooner.
Your dream life (and dream body!) is waiting for you. Don’t waste another minute — contact us today to get started on your weight loss journey
At VIGOS hospital, we often receive feedback from patients that our weight loss program is thorough and comprehensive. Our patients feel informed as they prepare for surgery, and they are supported afterward.
We will help you navigate life after surgery and make healthy choices for optimal weight loss results. Our weight loss professional team will work with you personally to develop meal plans, answer questions and provide moral support.
You are never alone on your weight loss journey. There is always a friendly face to offer helpful information and encouragement.