Gastric bypass surgery is a combination of weight loss surgery with both – decrease in stomach size and a partial bypass of the small intestine to limit calorie intake. Gastric bypass surgery is also known as roux-en-y weight loss surgery and is considered as the most successful weight loss surgery.
In a gastric bypass, the patient feels full even after taking small meals. The surgery makes your stomach smaller. The gastric bypass works by creating a small stomach pouch which limits the high intake of food and facilitates significantly smaller meals, which converts to fewer calories consumed.
Why is gastric bypass surgery performed?
There are people who are overweight and are unable to lose weight through dieting and exercise. As a result of obesity, they invite several other diseases which need immediate attention. Gastric bypass is a life-changing surgery which can help you reduce your risk of weight-related health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. It is done to improve your diet and exercise habits making healthy lifestyle changes.
Gastric bypass surgeries are effective in helping treat obesity and related issues, your doctor may recommend gastric bypass surgery if:
- Traditional weight loss methods have not proven successful
- You have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40
- Your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 35 and suffering from obesity-related health issues
Gastric bypass can be a major makeover for patients suffering from obesity.
- There is a complete physical examination to determine if are eligible for gastric bypass surgery.
- Blood test, ultrasound and other tests that the doctor feels are important before the surgery.
- Inform the doctor about pre-existing diseases, if any, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or liver disorder, allergic to any medicine, etc.
- Inform the doctor if you take any medicine, supplements, herbs or vitamins
- Discuss with the doctor what happens during the surgery, after the surgery, risks involved after the surgery, dietary changes after the surgery and so on.
- Make sure you are mentally and emotionally ready to under surgery.
- It is advised to stop the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
- Follow the instructions given by the doctor related to any medication before the surgery.
- Get the tests which are needed before the surgery, as it may reduce the post-surgery complications.
- On the day of the surgery, ensure you do not eat before the surgery to avoid complications.
Gastric bypass surgery: How is it performed?
Gastric bypass surgery is performed under general anesthesia. It is performed in two parts.
- In the first part, the surgeon makes a small pouch in the stomach. The stomach is divided into a large and small portion. This small portion is then stapled to make a small pouch which can hold some amount of food. With a small pouch, the patient feels full quickly and eat less. The is known as the restrictive strategy as the stomach size restricts the amount of food it can hold.
- In the second part, the small stomach pouch is disconnected from the majority of the stomach and a part of the small intestine. The upper part of the small intestine is stapled by making an incision that divides the upper and lower part. The upper half of the small intestine remains attached to the unused stomach and no longer processes the food. Therefore, the food passes directly from the stomach to the lower half of the intestine, bypassing the upper portion. The surgeon makes sure that the staples do not leak and then the incisions are closed.
Usually, the surgeon conducts the process laparoscopically where a thin tube-like instrument is inserted with a camera on top to get the inside view of the internal organs. The laparoscopic surgery needs small incisions, unlike open surgery where the surgeon makes a large incision.
The hospital stay and the recovery time is short when it is laparoscopic surgery. There is no pain during the procedure and even, the after-pain is less as compared to open surgery. All you have to do is follow the post-surgery instructions as mentioned by your healthcare provider.
- Patients may walk the same day after the surgery.
- More fluid intake for a few days for a speedy recovery and better digestion.
- No smoking and alcohol.
- Incision site must be cleaned properly and dressing must be done periodically.
- The patient may resume daily activities when they feel comfortable but consult the doctor before doing any strenuous activity. Some physical activity like regular walking helps in early recovery and is advisable after the surgery.
- Must follow the dietary instructions provided by the surgeon or the nutritionist.
- Regular follow up is also important after the surgery.
- Your body may not absorb some important minerals, so the doctor prescribes you with certain supplements so that there are no deficiencies in your body.
- Your body needs protein to build muscles and tissues and heal well after surgery. Include low-fat protein that includes low-fat dairy products, whole eggs, beans, lean pork or beef and so on.
- Eating mostly fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains will help you get most of the nutrients.
Here are some points you must know about gastric bypass surgery:
- Gastric bypass surgery is a long term weight loss surgery.
- It restricts the amount of food intake and therefore helps in weight loss.
- Bypass surgery is a procedure with minimal pain and early recovery of patients. Patients can walk on the same day after the surgery.
- Significantly helps in improvement of illness caused due to obesity such as diabetes, blood pressure, joint pains, infertility issues, etc.
- No part of the stomach or intestine is removed from the surgery.
- People who experience gastric bypass, undergo rapid weight loss and continue to lose excess weight months and years later.
- The depression and anxiety complaints are no more after the surgery. People feel confident, motivated and become socially active after weight loss surgery.
- There is an increase in activity, stamina and energy levels.
- The eating habits are improved in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Also Read: Side effects of Bariatric Surgery