Are you worried about the growing waistlines that affect your health? Did strict diet and regular exercises fail to melt your body fat? For people who have tried all these and still are overweight, gastric bypass could be of great help.
Gastric bypass is the gold standard procedure for weight loss. This procedure involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and connecting it directly to the small intestine. Therefore, food does enter in some parts of the digestive system. As a result, the body will not get many calories from the food you eat.
Gastric bypass is performed to help a person lose weight and prevent his/her risk of developing severe weight-related health problems, such as:
- Heart diseases
- Type-2 diabetes
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Obstructive sleep apnoea
Any individual who has tried diet and exercise but failed to lose weight is considered as a good candidate for gastric bypass. Although gastric bypass aids in weight loss, it is not an appropriate option for everyone. Based on the overall health and certain medical guidelines, the doctor will decide whether you are eligible for gastric bypass or not.
In general, gastric bypass could be a good option if:
- The BMI (body mass index) is 40 or more
- Your BMI is 30 or more with severe weight-related health conditions like type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure
- You are willing to make permanent changes in the lifestyle
PREPARATION BEFORE PROCEDURE
Gastric bypass is a major procedure that involves several dietary restriction and limitations, so the patient needs to be well-prepared before surgery. Understanding the benefits and risks associated with the surgery could be of great help.
At the first consultation, the doctor will review your medical and medication history. Certain medical tests, such as a blood test, abdominal ultrasound, and other tests are recommended to assess the health condition for undergoing surgery. During this period, you will also meet your dietician who will brief you about the dietary intake.
The instructions given below may help you in having an uneventful surgery:
Inform the doctor about the use of current medications and dietary supplements
Do not take aspirin or any blood-thinning agents a few days before the surgery
Avoid alcohol consumption
Ask your doctor regarding any dietary restrictions before the surgery
This procedure is performed under the influence of general anaesthesia. Once the anaesthesia sets in, the surgeon will make an incision by any one of the following techniques:
Open surgery: In this technique, the surgeon will make a large incision in the abdomen and bypass is done.
Laparoscopic technique: In this technique, the surgeon will make a few small incisions in the abdomen. Through these incisions, the surgeon will pass a laparoscope and perform the surgery.
Once the incision is made, the surgeon will make a small pouch by cutting across the top portion of the stomach and staple it. This results in a division of stomach into a small upper section and a large bottom section. The small upper section is about the size of a walnut and can hold only about 1 ounce of food. Due to this, the person will feel full and eat less.
Next, the surgeon will cut small intestine into two sections. The lower portion of the small intestine is joined to the newly made stomach pouch. Then, the food directly enters the middle region of the intestine. This decreases the absorption of calories and aids in weight loss.
After the procedure, depending on the recovery and the technique used, the doctor will recommend staying in the hospital for a few days. You need to have a clear liquid diet for at least the first two weeks. After that, you can have a soft diet. From the next day of the surgery, you will be advised to walk slowly to prevent the risk of blood clots. For the first few months, you may have several changes in the body and drastic weight loss. Body aches, fatigue, dry skin, and mood swings are common for a few months. Like all other surgeries, gastric bypass also has certain complications. Therefore, you need to take the prescribed medicines regularly.
- Eat a smaller amount of food
- Eat and drink slowly than usual
- Do not eat raw vegetables, red meat, and fried foods
- Focus on a protein-rich diet
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol
- Limit the intake of caffeine
- Take the prescribed vitamin and mineral supplements regularly
- Avoid lifting heavyweights
- Do not do strenuous exercises
The following are the risks associated with gastric bypass:
- Blood clots
- Breathing problems
The laparoscopic gastric bypass will usually take about two to four hours.
If a person does not follow recommended lifestyle modifications after gastric bypass, he/she may gain weight and also develop certain complications associated with the surgery, such as bleeding.
Two to three days of hospital stay is recommended for the patient who has undergone laparoscopic gastric bypass.
Gastric bypass is associated with the following benefits:
- Long-term weight loss
- Reduces the risk of obesity-related conditions
- Improves the quality of life and mood