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Gastric Bypass

Gastric Bypass: Surgery, Risks, Side Effects & Results

Are you considering undergoing a gastric bypass for weight loss?

The purpose of this article is to provide you with the necessary information to make an appropriate and informed decision as to whether you wish to proceed with a gastric bypass.

What is a gastric bypass?

Gastric bypass (or roux-en-Y gastric bypass) is a weight loss procedure performed with a laprascope used to create a small pouch in the stomach for food to pass through which is connected directly to the small intestine.

After the surgery, when you eat your food will go straight into the small pouch, bypassing the majority of your stomach into the small intestine restricting the amount of calories your body absorbs.

A gastric bypass is a common longstanding procedure performed around the world, particularly in the United States of America.

Weight loss with the gastric bypass averages between 65 to 75% of excess weight.

The health problems associated with excess weight and quality of life are improved and these benefits can be achieved well before you have achieved your maximum weight loss.

Gastric bypass surgery for morbid obesity

Morbid obesity is a disease that often has multiple associated medical illnesses and is associated with a significant decrease in life expectancy. Many of these can be reversed with significant long term weight loss.

Evidence demonstrates that for the great majority of the morbidly obese, diet/exercise/medications including medically supervised medications/diets have a high failure rate and that bariatric surgery is the most effective long term way to achieve significant weight loss in these patients.

The risks of a non-surgical approach to your morbid obesity is a very high failure rate with increased weight gain in the longer term leading to higher risk of obesity-related medical illness and decreased life expectancy.

Gastric bypass vs. gastric band and gastric sleeve

Other bariatric procedures available in the practice including gastric band and gastric sleeve.

All of these procedures are designed as tools to help you to lose your excess weight, making you healthier and hopefully improving your quality of life.

Gastric band

The gastric band restricts the size of your stomach to about 30 mL with an adjustable silicone band. The band can be adjusted by injecting saline into a port which sits underneath your skin below your breast bone.

Weight loss occurs by restricting your dietary intake. The stomach is not altered in any way. It is the safest and least invasive of the bariatric procedures on offer.

Weight loss is more gradual than the other procedures and, as with all the procedures, weight loss can be circumvented by consuming sufficient amounts of high calorie liquid or food. In addition, having the band either too lose or too tight can lead to long term problems.

When closely monitored and adjusted appropriately, the gastric band can achieve weight loss on the average of 65% excess weight over a two to five year period.

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