GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY
PROCEDURE, ADVANTAGES & RESULTS
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery uses a combination of stomach restriction and calorie malabsorption to help you lose weight. During the procedure, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch, and attaches a section of the small intestine directly to the pouch. This allows food to bypass a large portion of the small intestine, where nutrients and calories are absorbed. Having a smaller stomach pouch allows you to feel full sooner and eat less. Bypassing a portion of the small intestine means you will absorb fewer calories. This combination promotes rapid weight loss.
The Minimally Invasive Procedure
A small camera is passed through a port into the abdomen so the surgeon can view the operative site on a nearby video monitor. Delicate instruments are used to perform the operation through five tiny incisions. The laparoscopic approach to surgery has many advantages including reduced post-operative pain, shortened hospital stay, quicker recovery, and better cosmetic results. There are two steps during gastric bypass surgery:
Excess Weight Loss after Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass patients typically lose about 60 percent of excess weight during the first year. (1)
Advantages of Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Laparoscopic approach.
- Reduces stomach capacity.
- Reduces the amount of food that can be eaten at a meal.
- Promotes rapid weight loss.
- Small incisions and minimal scarring.
- Appealing option for people who are concerned about having an implanted medical device.
Studies have found that gastric bypass improves obesity related diseases including:
Click here for more information about the Health Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery
- Resolution of type 2 diabetes in 83.8% of patients often within days of surgery. (1)
- Resolution of high blood pressure in 75.4% of patients. (1)
- Improved cholesterol levels in 95% of patients with high cholesterol. (2)
Quality of Life
Many studies have demonstrated that patients who lose significant weight after surgery experience: (1)
- Greatly improved overall quality of life.
- Improved physical functioning and appearance.
- Improved social and economic opportunities.
Diet and Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss gives you more energy, makes you feel better about yourself and motivates you to continue the changes that have made you successful. The success of any weight loss operation must begin with realistic goals; once established, your motivation will ultimately determine the amount of weight you lose. Weight loss surgery works with you, not by itself. It creates a situation where a small amount of food makes you full and less hungry, reducing the number of calories eaten in a day. If you take advantage of this situation, you will lose weight.
Exercise adds to this by increasing the number of calories burned. When you exercise, you build muscle, which increases your metabolic rate, which burns more calories. We strongly encourage the addition of exercise to weight loss surgery, as the combination of eating fewer calories and burning more calories is very powerful for successful weight loss.
There are patients who go through the trouble of having weight loss surgery and do not lose much weight because they expect the surgery to do the work for them. Becoming a thinner person requires change. You must be more active and make wise food choices. An example is a patient who eats a large quantity of high-calorie liquids such as milkshakes or sugary sweets. Sugar is an unnecessary source of calories that you must burn off with exercise. We strongly recommend not eating sweets after weight loss surgery (unless it's your birthday). Try sugar-free foods. Other patients sabotage their success by grazing or emotional eating -- eating small amounts of food throughout the day. After weight loss surgery, if you avoid sugar, high-calorie liquids and emotional grazing, you will increase your success rate. The best way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more.
Northwest Weight Loss Surgery has developed a comprehensive after care program to better prepare you for the lifelong changes after surgery. We encourage you to attend our monthly support groups where we discuss many topics relating to the weight loss journey. For patient success stories click here.
Motivation is the Key to Weight Loss
Most patients who've had weight loss surgery found it to be the only thing that allowed them to keep the weight off long-term. We hear people say things like "weight loss surgery gave me my life back" and "I wish I would have done this sooner". We have many successful patients, but it is incorrect to think that you do not have to put any effort into losing weight. Your surgeon will educate you on your responsibilities as a weight loss surgery patient. These include new eating patterns and a new lifestyle.
1. -4 Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA 2004;292(14):1724-37.(2) Schauer P, Ikramuddin S, Gourash W, et al. Outcomes After Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass for Morbid Obesity. Ann Surg 2000 Oct;232(4):515-29.