There are several surgeries that are available today for people who are considered morbidly obese, have tried to lose weight using more conservative methods and failed. These surgeries are called bariatric surgery. There are different procedures that are done today depending on which surgery the physician feels will work best for the patient. People who are considering this type of surgery need to research all of the procedures including their benefits and risks before deciding on which procedure they feel would benefit them the most. One of these types of surgery is the gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery is one type of surgery that is available as a weight loss alternative. In this type of surgery the stomach is reduced down to a very small pouch either by stapling or by using a plastic band. The pouch is then connected to the jejunum, bypassing the larger portion of the stomach and the duodenum. You may have heard of this surgery as the “stomach stapling surgery’. The reasoning behind the procedure is that the stomach is made full when a very small amount of food or drink is ingested. This allows the person to greatly reduce the amounts that they eat per day. The bypass portion of the surgery reduces the amount of nutrients that the intestine is able to absorb and later metabolized for nutrients.
This type of surgery does require a hospital stay. There are two different ways to accomplish this surgery. The traditional method is done with a large incision to the abdomen. There is a newer procedure that can be done with a much smaller incision. This is the laparoscopic version of the surgery.
The benefits of having the laparoscopic type of surgery are that the hospital stay is cut in half in relation to the traditional method. There is less chance of infection of the incision or problems related to the incision healing properly.
Gastric bypass promotes very quick weight loss for people. Studies have shown that after the surgery is performed, most people lose approximately up to 80% of their excess weight after periods of one year and up to five years. This makes it a very appealing weight loss alternative for people who are extremely obese.
There are some risks and side effects of the surgery that need to be considered as well. People who have had gastric bypass surgery are prone to developing gallstones after the surgery. Some physicians recommend removing the gallbladder at the same time as the gastric bypass to prevent issues with gallstones.
There can be issues with dumping syndrome. This is due to the fact that food is moving so quickly through the gastrointestinal system. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating, feeling weak, and diarrhea can be experienced due to this.
Due to the fact that part of the surgery’s goal is to create a malabsorption syndrome, patients will have problems with eating enough food to meet their nutritional requirements. After the bypass surgery, people will be required to take vitamin and iron supplements in order to make sure they get all the nutrients that they need.
Research has shown the people have weaker immune systems after gastric bypass surgery as well. They will be more prone to contracting contagious diseases and will need to take precautions against this.
Since weight loss after surgery is extremely fast, most people will have large amounts of flabby skin that will remain after they lose weight. Some plastic surgery may need to be done at a later date in order to get rid of all the excess skin after weight loss has been achieved.
People that do not adhere to eating the correct amounts after surgery may cause the staples to pull lose or the pouch may enlarge over time which can result in gaining weight back. This can also make dumping syndrome worse if people overeat.
Gastric bypass surgery is a very valuable tool for weight loss for people who have been unsuccessful with other programs. However, as with any type of surgery, there are risks involved that need to be considered before anyone decides to go ahead with surgery. It is a good idea to do research and then discuss your options with a reputable surgeon who can give you input on which procedure would be best for you.