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Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass is a type of weight-loss surgery that involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and connecting the newly created pouch directly to the small intestine. After gastric bypass, swallowed food will go into the small pouch in the stomach and then directly into the small intestine, thereby bypassing most of your stomach and the first section of your small intestine. 

Why it's done

Gastric bypass is done to help you lose excess weight and reduce your risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems, including:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Heart disease 
  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol
  • Obstructive sleep apnea 
  • Type 2 diabetes 
  • Stroke
  • Infertility

Who it's for

It is important to remember that gastric bypass in only an option at our clinic if:

  • Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher.
  • Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity), and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea.

Risks

As with any major surgery, gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries pose potential health risks, both in the short term and long term.

Risks associated with the gastric bypass are similar to any abdominal surgery and can include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • Blood clots
  • Lung or breathing problems
  • Leaks in your gastrointestinal system
  • Longer term risks and complications of gastric bypass can include:
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Dumping syndrome, causing diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Gallstones
  • Hernias
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Malnutrition
  • Stomach perforation
  • Ulcers
  • Vomiting

How to prepare

If you qualify for gastric bypass, our clinic team will give you instructions on how to prepare for surgery, this includes various lab tests and exams before surgery.

Other precautions

It is important to know that following surgery you will need to make healthy lifestyle changes including a physical activity program and a diet provided to you by our on-staff dietician.  This diet will help regulate your calorie intake while insuring you are getting the adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. 

After the procedure

Following gastric bypass surgery, you will be given a liquid diet, no solid foods are allowed at this time.  This will allow your stomach and intestine to heal. You will then proceed with a special diet provided to you by our in-staff dietican which will help you slowly graduate from liquids to pureed foods.

We will also recommend you take vitamin and mineral supplements after surgery, including and not specific to a multivitamin with iron, calcium and vitamin B-12.  These vitamins will be determined based on lab work done post-surgery. 

 You may experience changes as your body reacts to the rapid weight loss in the first three to six months after gastric bypass, including:

  • Body aches
  • Feeling tired, as if you have the flu
  • Feeling cold
  • Dry skin
  • Hair thinning and hair loss
  • Mood changes

Results

Gastric bypass can provide long-term weight loss. The amount of weight you lose depends on how strictly you follow your diet and the changes your make to your lifestyle.   It has been found to be possible to lose 60 percent, or even more, of your excess weight within two years.

In addition to weight loss, gastric bypass may improve or even in some cases resolve conditions often related to being overweight, including:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Infertility