What is gastric bypass surgery?

Gastric bypass surgery alters the size of the stomach to restrict the amount of calories morbidly obese people can consume. The laparoscopic version of the surgery is less invasive than an open surgery and often improves recovery times.
Gastric bypass surgery alters the size of the stomach to restrict the amount of calories morbidly obese people can consume. The laparoscopic version of the surgery is less invasive than an open surgery and often improves recovery times.

Gastric bypass surgery is a weight loss surgery. In this surgery, a surgeon makes changes to the stomach and small intestine to alter the way you absorb and digest the food. Gastric bypass helps in weight loss by:

  • Restricting the amount of food the stomach holds.
  • Limiting the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs.
  • Changing gut hormones, which keeps the stomach full for longer.
  • Contribute to hunger suppression.
  • Reversal of obesity.

Can gastric bypass be done laparoscopically?

Gastric bypass is usually performed laparoscopically, it involves making five to six small incisions in the abdomen through which are inserted a small video scope and surgical tools. 

  • The surgeon staples the top portion of the stomach so it is separated from the bottom to create a small stomach pouch. 
  • This pouch restricts food intake. 
  • A section of the small intestine called the jejunum is then attached to the small stomach pouch permitting food to bypass the lower stomach (duodenum). 
  • This bypass reduces the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs and thus contributes to weight loss

How long does laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery take?

The camera scope is connected to a video monitor in the operating room. This allows the surgeon to view inside the belly while doing the operation, which usually takes two to three hours under general anesthesia

What are the possible side effects after laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery?

There are potential short-term and long-term complications from having weight loss surgery which include:

  • Constipation 
  • Sagging skin
  • Wound infections: It can happen up to three weeks after surgery. Symptoms include redness and warmth, pain, or thick drainage (pus) from the surgical wound. Wound infections require antibiotics and sometimes further surgery.
  • Dumping syndrome: This happens after eating high-sugar meals after weight loss surgery. Sodas or fruit juices are often to blame. The sugary food rushes through the stomach and can cause nauseavomiting, and weakness.
  • Gallstones: Up to 50% of patients will develop gallstones after gastric bypass surgery, but these are usually harmless. 
  • Blood in stool: Blood in stool appears as reddish or black stools, which may be serious. Immediate medical attention is required for this side effect.
  • Blood clots to the lungs: This side effect is rare, happening less than 1% of the time. They can be life-threatening. But blood clots can usually be prevented with blood-thinning drugs and frequent activity.
  • Leaks in the new connections made by the weight loss surgery are rare, but serious. They usually occur within 5 days of the surgery. Abdominal pain and feeling ill are common symptoms.

What are the advantages of laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery?

Laparoscopic gastric bypass can provide long-term weight loss. It can also improve ability to perform routine daily activities, which could help improve quality of life. Below are few other advantages of laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery:

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Medically Reviewed on 7/30/2020
References
"Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass"
Medscape Medical Reference
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