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Gastric Bypass

A weight loss procedure that reroutes the stomach

There are two goals in gastric bypass surgery: reduce the size of the stomach and reroute its contents to reduce absorption of nutrients. The smaller stomach pouch helps you feel full sooner when eating. The intestinal bypass decreases absorption of nutrients, thus contributing to weight loss. You will have to make lifelong changes to your diet to ensure that you maintain a healthy weight while still receiving the nutrients your body needs.

The experienced team at Charlton Bariatrics can help you understand the benefits of gastric bypass surgery, the side effects and the changes you will need to make for the future.

What Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Involve?

The Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass can usually be done through minimally invasive surgery using a laparoscope, which results in faster recovery time, less pain and less risk during the operation. Only a few small incisions are needed for this operation.

Once the surgeon has access to the abdomen, he will cut and staple the stomach to make it smaller. This smaller stomach is then attached directly to the small intestine, bypassing a portion of the digestive tract. This treatment should not only help you feel full with smaller portions, but also make the feeling of fullness last longer.

Benefits of Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass may provide some benefit over gastric sleeve with regards to total weight loss, diabetes, high cholesterol and acid reflux. Gastric bypass patients loose on average 10% more excess weight than gastric sleeve patients. There is evidence that the effect of gastric bypass on diabetes and high cholesterol may be greater in the long run with bypass than with sleeve. And gastric bypass has proven to be a great operation for a number of conditions resulting in acid reflux.

Long Term Side Effects of Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass patients need to avoid smoking, heavy alcohol use, street drugs like cocaine, NSAIDs (medications for arthritis), aspirin or prednisone. The use of these substances greatly increases the risk of stomach ulcers. These ulcers frequently get complicated by bleeding or perforation.

Gastric bypass patients also have to be more attentive to nutritional deficiencies. Problems such as iron deficiency with anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency, poor bone strength due to calcium deficiency and other nutritional problems can occur after gastric bypass. Long term monitoring with your bariatric team or your primary care physician is important to prevent some of these problems.

Gastric bypass patients are also at some risk of internal hernias. These can cause abdominal pain, bowel obstruction and may need surgery to repair them.