Gastric Bypass: What is Involved?
Many people today struggle to lose weight and keep it off. When excess weight reaches a certain level it can cause serious, life-threatening issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type II diabetes. In addition, it can impair quality of life by causing joint pain, sleep apnea, difficulty in performing activities of daily living, and finding clothing that can fit. Individuals who are severely obese or obese with comorbidities who cannot lose weight through diet and exercise may want to consider gastric bypass to improve their health.
What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
A gastric bypass, sometimes called a Roux-en-Y procedure, is a surgical procedure that simultaneously reduces the size of the stomach and removes part of the intestine so that the stomach delivers food directly to the middle part of the intestine, skipping the first part. In most cases, the procedure is done laparoscopically which results in less scarring and a relatively faster recovery time.
How Does it Cause Weight Loss?
A gastric bypass results in rapid and sustained weight loss through several mechanisms. The reduced stomach size means it is impossible to eat more than a small amount at each meal or snack. Skipping the first portion of the small intestine means that the calories that are consumed are not well-absorbed. In addition, the changes to the digestive tract seem to alter the hormones produced by the digestive tract, inducing reductions in appetite and other changes to the metabolism that can reduce insulin resistance and alter how the body metabolizes fat and sugar.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and may take several hours. Patients generally stay in the hospital for a few days afterwards. Patients aren’t allowed to eat for a day or two, and then move onto a liquid diet followed by gradually transitioning over the course of around 12 weeks to consuming regular solid food. During the first six months post-surgery many medical checkups are required.
If you believe you may benefit from gastric bypass surgery our professionals at the Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery would love to talk with you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out if this procedure is right for you!
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