Gastric bypass surgery is a quick weight loss procedure that can help you lose a significant amount of weight in a short period of time. The surgery involves reducing the size of your stomach so that you eat less food and lose weight quickly. However, the decision to have gastric bypass surgery should not be taken lightly.
In this guide, we help you to gain a better understanding of what’s involved so that you can make an informed decision on the best option for you.
Explaining Gastric Bypass Surgery
There are several different options for achieving weight loss with gastric bypass surgery, but the most common is Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. This involves creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach and then connecting it directly to the small intestine. This allows food to bypass a large portion of the stomach and small intestine, leading to rapid weight loss.
Other Types of Gastric Bypass Surgery
Other types of gastric bypass surgery aside from Roux-en-Y, include:
Sleeve gastrectomy: This involves removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving a small sleeve-shaped stomach.
Mini gastric bypass: This is similar to Roux-en-Y surgery, but the new stomach pouch is smaller, and there is a shorter connection to the small intestine.
Biliopancreatic diversion: This involves removing a large portion of the stomach and connecting the small intestine directly to the middle section of the large intestine. A part of the small intestine is then reconnected to the end of the large intestine.
Post Surgery Care
After gastric bypass surgery, you will need to be closely monitored by your doctor. You will likely need to stay in the hospital for a few days after surgery. Once you are home, you must follow a strict diet and exercise plan. You will also need to take vitamins and minerals for the rest of your life.
For the first few days following surgery, you will likely only be able to consume liquids. You will then slowly progress to pureed and soft foods. After a few weeks, you should be able to eat most foods, but in smaller portions.
Results Following Gastric Bypass Surgery
After gastric bypass surgery, you can expect to lose a significant amount of weight. Most people lose about 60% of their excess body weight within the first year after surgery. Additionally, many health problems associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, improve or resolve after surgery.
As with any major surgery, there are some risks involved with gastric bypass surgery. These include infection, bleeding, and blood clots. However, most gastric bypass surgery patients experience few complications and can lead healthy, active lives.
Who is a Suitable Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for weight loss surgery. In general, you may be a candidate for surgery if:
- Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher, or your BMI is 35 or higher, and you have obesity-related health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
- You have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight through diet and exercise.
- You are committed to making the necessary lifestyle changes after surgery, such as following a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
Is a Gastric Bypass an Easy Option for Weight Loss?
Gastric bypass surgery is major surgery and should not be considered lightly. However, gastric bypass surgery can be a life-changing procedure for people who are severely obese and have been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise.
Don’t forget that you will need to make permanent lifestyle changes after surgery, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. However, if you are committed to these changes, gastric bypass surgery can help you achieve your weight loss goals and improve your overall health.
If you are considering gastric bypass surgery, talk to your doctor to see if it is the right option for you.
Alternatives to Gastric Bypass Surgery
If you are considering gastric bypass surgery but are unsure if it is right for you, there are other options to consider.
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy: This is a less invasive alternative to gastric bypass surgery that involves removing a portion of the stomach.
Diet and exercise: For some people, making lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can be enough to achieve significant weight loss. However, this is not an easy option and requires a lot of dedication and motivation.
Medications: Some medications can help with weight loss, but they are not suitable for everyone.
Finding a Gastric Bypass Surgeon
If you are considering gastric bypass surgery, it is essential to find a qualified surgeon with a depth of experience in this type of procedure. Look for a surgeon who has experience performing this type of surgery and in the US is certified by the American Board of Surgery and in the UK is on the Medical Register.
Before choosing a surgeon, be sure to schedule a consultation to discuss your weight loss goals and concerns. This is an excellent time to ask questions about the surgery and get to know the surgeon. There should be no pressure to pay a deposit or commit to surgery at this point; this is an important and life-changing decision, so it’s important that you have plenty of time to consider your options carefully.
In the UK, Can I Get Gastric Bypass Surgery on the NHS?
Gastric bypass surgery is available on the NHS for people who are severely obese and have not been able to lose weight through diet and exercise. To be eligible for surgery, you will need to meet specific criteria.
If you think you may be eligible for gastric bypass surgery on the NHS, talk to your GP. They will be able to refer you to a specialist for an assessment.
Because of long wait lists and strict criteria, not everyone who wants gastric bypass surgery can get it on the NHS. However, there are other options available, such as private treatment, and this is the route many people choose to take once they have decided to have weight loss surgery.