Gastric bypass surgery restricts food consumption and permanently alters the digestive process. This surgery is only recommended when all other programs of diet, exercise, and medicine have failed.
How Gastric Bypass Surgery Works
The procedure begins with the removal of much of the stomach, in order to create a smaller gastric pouch and limit eating. Surgeons then identify a portion of the small intestine to be bypassed during digestion. Once that section of small intestine is removed, the intestine is reconnected to the stomach.
Patients eat less, feel full, and only partially absorb the calories they consume.
Post-Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass patients generally remain in the hospital for three days and return to work within three weeks.
Shortening the digestive process reduces the body’s ability to extract both calories and nutrients from food. For those reasons, vigilance about nutrition and vitamin supplements will become a lifelong necessity following the surgery.
Gastric Bypass Results
Overall, patients generally lose 75-80% of their excess body weight within two years of the procedure. The most dramatic weight loss occurs during the first six to eight months.
Gastric Bypass Surgical Candidates
Gastric bypass surgery is for those who meet morbidly obese standards, having a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 40, which translates to being over 100 pounds overweight for men and 80 pounds for women.
Surgery may also be an option for people with a BMI between 35 and 40 who suffer from chronic or life-threatening complications associated with obesity.
Benefits of gastric bypass compared to other bariatric surgeries:
- Rapid weight loss for 6 months to a year
- Permanent weight-loss measure
- Considerable reduction in obesity-related health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea
- Produces weight loss where diet, exercise, and other measures have failed