What is Gastric Bypass?
This surgery is a combination malabsorptive/restrictive procedure. Gastric bypass is the gold standard of weight loss surgery and can also be the most effective. However, it is also more drastic than other surgeries since it is a combination procedure and substantially and permanently alters the stomach and intestines.
During gastric bypass surgery, the surgeon creates a small pouch from the stomach using surgical staples. The larger part of the stomach remains. The surgeon then attaches a limb from the lower section of the small intestine to the pouch, bypassing the upper part of the small intestine. Food enters the smaller stomach pouch, which fills more quickly. Patients will feel fuller sooner, and therefore eat less. After exiting the stomach, food then bypasses first part of the small intestine, which results in the malabsorption of nutrients and certain vitamins and iron.
Gastric bypass surgery may offer faster weight loss than other procedures. However, it is a more complex surgery and may carry more risk.
- Produces significant (60-80%) long term weight loss
- Restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time
- Produces favorable changes in the gut hormones to reduce appetite and enhance satiety
- In most cases, patients report an early sense of fullness, combined with a sense of satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat
- Technically a more complex operation than the gastric band or sleeve gastrectomy and potentially could result in greater complication rates
- Can lead to long term vitamin/ mineral deficiencies, particularly deficits in vitamins B12, iron, calcium and folate
- “Dumping syndrome” occurs when stomach contents moves too rapidly through the small intestine following surgery. Symptoms include: rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, sweating , nausea, general sense of weakness occurs rapidly and lasts approximately 15-20 minutes
- Rerouting of digestive juices beyond the stomach can cause intestinal irritation and ulcers
- Stomach pouch stretching
- Bowel obstructions
- Regaining of initial weight loss can occur if there is not compliance to diet restrictions after the second to third year
- A small percent of the patients may not achieve their desired weight loss
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