The Gastric Bypass is a restrictive and malabsorptive procedure. It restricts food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs.
According to the American Society for Bariatric Surgery and the National Institutes of Health, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the current gold standard procedure for weight loss surgery. It is one of the most frequently performed weight loss procedures in the United States.
A small stomach pouch is created at the top of the stomach to restrict food intake. Then, a section of the small intestine is attached directly to the pouch. This allows food to bypass the lower stomach and a portion of the small intestine. You will feel full sooner and eat less. Bypassing a part of the small intestine means the body absorbs fewer calories. The hunger hormone Ghrelin is reduced thus decreasing the sensation of hunger.
Advantages of the Procedure:
- Patients can expect to loss 80% or more of their excess weight at the end of one year.
- Weight loss begins immediately.
- Diminished sensation of hunger – Patient often feel less hungry and state the desire to eat is reduced.
- Does not require implanting an artificial device in the abdomen.
- Does not require manipulation as with the adjustable gastric band.
- It has been shown to resolve conditions like diabetes and hypertension.
Risks & Precautions:
- Leaks can occur and may be from staple lines or due to poor healing.
- Marginal ulcers – ulcers in the gastric pouch that can bleed, perforate (create a hole in the gastric pouch) or heal and cause narrowing of the gastric pouch outlet.
- Strictures or narrowing of the gastric pouch outlet. This can occur due to scar tissue or ulcer disease.
- Obstructions can occur due to scar tissue or ulcer disease.
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency. The gastric bypass is designed to limit absorption as a result vitamin and mineral deficiencies can occur. Patients will be on lifelong vitamin supplementation. It is recommended that all patients have their vitamin levels checked at regular intervals.
- Dumping syndrome is an unpleasant side effect that may include vomiting, nausea, faintness, sweating and diarrhea. This occurs due to eating foods high in sugars or carbohydrates.
- Hernias can develop in up to 10 to 20 percent of patients after any type of abdominal surgery. Internal hernias are unique to gastric bypass.
- Gallstones can occur due to rapid weight loss.
- Intolerance to certain foods can occur. It is recommended that patients speak with the Registered Dieticians at the Bariatric Surgery Institute at The Medical Center of Plano if they are experiencing this.
- Stretching and enlargement of the gastric pouch can occur over time. This can lead to weight gain.
- Weight gain can occur if patients do not comply with the appropriate dietary guidelines. It is recommended that all patients follow up at regular intervals during the first year and yearly thereafter with the staff at the Bariatric Surgery Institute at The Medical Center of Plano. The best prevention to weight gain is early identification of maladaptive behaviors and modifying them.
- Due to the nature of this procedure it is not reversible.