Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure used to help treating obesity and hence, it is surgical method for generally performed to lose the weight by cutting off the hunger and so supplying fewer calories than required. Calorie intake can be significantly controlled since gastric bypass surgery results into two main favors; after the surgery, the stomach size is reduced and hence, one feels stomach fuller even after eating little quantity foods and since stomach and small intestines are skipped over (bypassed), there are fewer chances for the calories to get absorbed and get turned into fats.
Gastric bypass surgery alters the entire anatomy of the digestive system and limits the amount of the food that would be eaten and digested. The surgery promotes weight loss and hence keeps body away from all the medical problems related to obesity or overweight. The surgery is one of the most preferred treatment method adopted in US since the surgery is safer as compared to other invasive and complicated surgery and it has fewer complication chances. Gastric bypass surgery offers long-term and consistent weight loss if it is accompanied with other weight loss regimens such as diet restriction, behavior and lifestyle changes.
The surgery, blindly, cannot be performed on all. It is not for everyone and hence the patient has to meet certain criteria to undergo gastric bypass surgery. The patient might have to undergo certain tests and screening before going for the surgery. Once the formalities are done, the patient is taken in the operation room where the surgery is performed in general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a small pouch at the top of the stomach and creates a bypass around a section of the stomach along with some portion of small intestines. The surgeon then staples the stomach across the top and seals it off from the rest of the portion of the stomach.
The pouch created measures a size of a walnut and its capacity of holding the food is drastically reduced (about an ounce of food!). A pouch is kept separated from the rest of portion of the stomach and small intestines will be cut and part of it is stitched directly onto the pouch. The entire procedure will result into bypassing the foods from the stomach and first section of the intestines called duodenum. Foods then gets into the second section of the small intestines called as jejunum and hence limit the ability of intestines to absorb the calories, the main culprit in brining obesity. Though the food bypasses the stomach, the organ remains healthy and yet secrets the digestive juices that later mix-up with the foods in the small intestines.
Gastric bypass surgery can also be performed using laparoscope (a small tubular surgical instrument that has camera attached and through little incision, it is inserted into the body and through camera, the image is displayed on the screen and hence the operation is performed without any big scars/cuts. As compared to the traditional ‘open’ gastric bypass surgery, laparoscopic surgery is preferred nowadays because it shortens the duration of the surgery and produces fewer side effects.
After gastric bypass surgery, the patient is generally not allowed to eat for 1-3 days in order to provide enough time to the stomach to get healed. Afterwards, one has to follow strict diet that is prescribed or suggested by the surgeon for about 12 weeks. However, the progression begins with liquid diet only and gradually, soft foods are introduced. Finally after few more months, regular diet is allowed.
One can expect to lose 50%-60% of the excess weight after the first two years of gastric bypass surgery. However, one has to follow strict diet and need to adopt a particular lifestyle to keep this for long term. In addition to the weight loss, gastric bypass surgery also improves some other condition such as Type II diabetes, high blood cholesterol, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease).
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