What is gastric bypass surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure aimed at helping people lose weight by making the stomach smaller and bypassing a part of the small intestine. This results in eating less (because you feel full more quickly) and absorbing fewer calories (because the food does not spend as long in the intestine).
Who should consider gastric bypass?
Gastric bypass is a serious surgical procedure designed to help a serious problem. Generally, gastric bypass is not considered unless the patient is more than a hundred pounds overweight, has a body mass index of greater than 40, or has serious health conditions related to obesity.
What are the benefits of gastric bypass?
Gastric bypass usually results in rapid weight loss, with people losing up to a third of their body weight within one to five years.
This can help control other weight-related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, etc. Some gastric bypass patients report going from taking a dozen medications or more to taking only one or two.
People have also reported benefiting socially and emotionally from gastric bypass surgery, with the weight loss allowing them to participate in more activities they enjoy.
What are the risks of gastric bypass?
Gastric bypass is major surgery, and anyone who undergoes it runs all the risks normally associated with surgery. These risks may include infection, bleeding, and even death. In addition, people who have undergone gastric bypass may suffer from nutritional deficiencies.
Even after enduring the trauma of gastric bypass, not everyone is able to keep the weight off. If the patient continues to overeat, the stomach will, in time, re-expand.
Getting gastric bypass surgery is not a magic bullet for obesity. Rather, it is the beginning of a new, nutrition-conscious lifestyle that the patient must carefully maintain in order to lose the weight and keep it off.