What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
In the UK, the most common gastric bypass surgery is a combination of restrictive and malabsorptive procedure procedures called Roux-en-Y (RYGB) which creates a two-way weight reducing effect. However there are a number of variations of a Gastric Bypass.
The Roux-en-Y procedure involves shortening your digestive system and making your stomach smaller which therefore reduces the amount the food you consume and also some of the food you eat is not fully digested. The food you eat bypasses the majority of your stomach and small intestine.
What does a gastric bypass procedure involve?
The procedure generally takes approximately two hours and will require two or three days in hospital after surgery.
Your surgeon will make a series of incisions in your abdomen (keyhole surgery) and will use small instruments including a laparoscope (camera) to perform the procedure. In this time, a small pouch section is created by stapling off the upper part of your stomach. Your lower stomach will no longer hold or bypass any food and instead the surgeon will connect your small intestine to your new pouch.
Is a gastric bypass procedure the right option for me?
Like with the gastric band, a gastric bypass will only be recommended to you if have tried to lose excess weight by eating healthily, exercising and taking relevant medicines for at least 6 months, but have failed to shift the weight.
Criteria for surgery:
• You have a BMI of 35 plus and have a medical condition like high blood pressure and diabetes that may improve once you have lost weight
• You have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 plus and are morbidly obese
• You will need to be fit enough to have the procedure
• Be aware that losing and maintaining the weight you have lost is something you must be committed to as well as changing to a more active and healthy lifestyle
• You must be willing to attend regular check-ups after surgery
What are the risks of gastric bypass surgery?
• After the procedure, you must take daily nutritional supplements for the rest of your life and it is recommended that every three months you have a vitamin B12 injection to prevent Pernicious Anaemia
• You are likely to experience ‘Dumping Syndrome’ if you continue poor eating habits and over eating. Diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, dizziness and sweating are side of effects of dumping syndrome
• Possible risks and complications will be discussed like any other surgical procedure at your initial consultation
What happens after a gastric bypass?
It generally takes between four and six weeks to make a full recovery after the gastric bypass surgery. Ibuprofen and Paracetamol can be taken for pain relief after surgery.
After you have the gastric bypass, you will need to make significant changes to your diet and will need to reduce the amount of food you consume.
Initially, you will need to stick to liquids and then move on to puréed food. Adding vitamin and mineral supplements to your diet is also recommended to ensure you are getting the nutrients needed for a healthy lifestyle.
Ways to make your lifestyle healthier and more active will be discussed in depth with your surgeon in order to achieve maximum weight loss success.
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