Gastric bypass surgery

It is a well-known fact that obesity damages the body. It hurts the health of a person through its mechanically and metabolically adverse effects on normal functions of the body, not to mention the severe mental pain it brings. Those who suffer from excess weight and obesity now have an alternative to ordinary dieting — and this alternative is gastric bypass surgery. This type of surgery results in the reduction of the stomach size, and in allowing food to pass through the smaller intestine. After a gastric bypass surgery, the patient feels full much sooner than prior to the operation. Hence, the person eats less, caloric intake decreases and the weight is reduced.

There are a number of types of gastric bypass surgery, including the following:

Roux-en-Y Bypass: This type of surgery is the most popular nowadays. During this operation, a small gastric pouch is made high in the abdomen and just under the esophagus. Then, a segment of small bowel is divided and connected to the pouch. Sometimes it can be connected behind the colon and remainder of the stomach. Following that, the remainder of the small bowel is connected to the bowel that leads from the liver and pancreas in a shape that looks like a ‘Y’. Even though this gastric bypass surgery is very popular, it is also quite risky. For example, there can be a narrowing at the connection between the stomach pouch and small intestine, which can result in the stretching at the opening.

Mini Gastric Bypass: Dr. Robert Rutledge developed this procedure in 1997. This gastric bypass surgery involves a mini gastric bypass that forms a small gastric pouch lower within the abdomen than the above-mentioned procedure, and constitutes a loop connection with the small bowel. This results in a mal-absorption effect similar to that used by the Roux-en-Y bypass. People who undergo mini gastric bypass should be careful to avoid calcium and iron deficiencies. There are some risks associated, such as leaking, bowel obstruction, blood clots, and pneumonia.

Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass: This is the same Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, but performed laparoscopically. The fact that a laparoscope is used during this procedure means that the recovery from it will be much shorter, despite the longer duration of the operation itself.

Gastric Banding: This gastric bypass surgery involves the placement of a constricting ring completely around the upper end (the fundus) of the stomach. The stomach of a patient that undergoes this operation then looks like an hour-glass. Gastric banding results in the smaller intake of food, and hence – calories.

There are many people who undergo gastric bypass surgery even though they are neither overweight nor obese; for example, figure-conscious celebrities. Some choose to undergo the operation in spite of the significant risks and side effects it poses, as well as the drastic change of one’s lifestyle. Knowing the ins and outs of gastric bypass surgery will help determine if this procedure is right for you.

There are three main types of weight loss surgery:
1. Restrictive weight loss surgery (reducing of the size of your stomach);
2. Mal-absorptive weight loss surgery (altering the flow from the stomach to the intestine);
3. Weight loss surgery that combines both mentioned types.

Here we are going to concentrate upon the first type of weight loss surgery. When a patient is exceedingly obese and has decided to undergo surgery in order to lose a significant amount of weight, then gastric bypass surgery is a viable option. This kind of surgery results in a significant reduction of caloric intake. This goal can be reached in two ways:
1. The surgery reduces the stomach of the patient, meaning that after the gastric bypass surgery, the size of the stomach is smaller and the patient satisfied after consuming only a small amount of food. The patient becomes accustomed to the smaller amount of food and loses weight.
2. The surgery makes a part of the stomach and small intestines bypass in the food consumption process, which results in fewer calories being absorbed by the patient.

Before any kind of weight loss surgery, a patient must visit a physician to have a complete medical examination. The doctor must evaluate the state of the overall health of the patient, both physical and psychological. Then the doctor may or may not recommend the surgery, based on his or her judgment of whether the patient is a good candidate for a successful procedure. If the operation is recommended, then the patient will receive extensive nutritional counseling prior and subsequent to the surgery.

Anesthesia is always used during gastric bypass surgery. The surgery is performed in two basic steps:
1. The stomach is made smaller. It is divided by the surgeon in two sections – a smaller upper section and a larger lower section — by special staples that are similar to stitches. The digested food will he held by the top section of the stomach.
2. After the division of the stomach, a section of the smaller intestine is connected to the pouch to ensure that the food will bypass the lower section of the stomach.

A laparoscope can be used to perform gastric bypass surgery. This technique is considered to be much better than the traditional surgery because it is not so invasive. The surgical cuts are much smaller; hence it is less painful afterwards and, what is also important, less noticeable. The risk of large scars and hernias is lower. In laparoscopic bypass surgery, the surgeon first makes small surgical cuts in the abdomen, then passes slender surgical instruments through these narrow incisions together with a mini camera, so that the surgeon can seen how to maneuver the instruments.

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Last updated on Apr 9th, 2009 and filed under Weight Loss. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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