The gastric bypass is a weight loss procedure that combines restriction and absorption to achieve significant weight loss. The procedure has been used worldwide for over 35 years and is considered a major surgical operation as it is truly a ‘bypass’ of the stomach.

Gastric bypass is performed laparoscopically, there are a few variations of the surgery performed, however all work to reduce the size of the stomach by creating a gastric pouch, which is then attached to the small intestine. By doing so, most of the stomach and small intestine (duodenum and ileum) are bypassed.

How does the Gastric Bypass work?

Gastric bypass surgery helps obesity patients lose weight by both restricting the amount of food a person consumes and reducing the total amount of calories absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. This procedure also induces some hormonal and psychological changes when food doesn’t pass through the duodenum –first part of small bowel- , as it decreases ghrelin levels, which are the hunger hormone, and increases the levels of leptin hormone, which is the satiety hormone, thereby decreasing the feeling of hunger and suppressing appetite, restricting the amount of food the patient consumes.

Who is a good candidate for Gastric Bypass?

The gastric bypass procedure is used in cases of severe obesity, but because this surgical procedure is a major surgery that can pose some risks and side effects, the decision to perform this procedure is done after weighing possible benefits and risks.

The obesity patient needs to meet some criteria to qualify for gastric bypass, and these criteria depends upon BMI and the clinical assessment of the patient health condition.

Patients qualify for gastric bypass are evaluated using a comprehensive, multidisciplinary system, usually performed by a bariatric surgeon, a dietitian, and a psychologist.

Is Gastric Bypass better than other bariatric procedures?

It is true that all weight loss processes lead to weight loss to one degree or another, but there are some anatomical or psychological factors that can encourage gastric bypass as an option to manage obesity, and there are some other factors that experts consider an absolute contraindication to perform gastric bypass.

Is Gastric Bypass surgery effective?

Gastric bypass surgery helps obesity patients to lose significant weight permanently, as the percentage of lost weight can reach about 60% of extra body weight within 2 years, in addition to this it helps patients improve the quality of their lives and their ability to do many activities. Moreover, gastric bypass may treat or prevent several diseases, such as:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Sleep and snoring disorders
  • Type II diabetes mellitus
  • Cerebrovascular accidents
  • Infertility

How does the expected weight loss happen?

Weight is lost very quickly in the first year following gastric bypass surgery. The targeted weight is usually reached after 18 months. With this surgery, 70-80% of people’s excess body weight is lost. For example, a patient with a height of 1.70 and a weight of 140 will lose 50-60 kilograms of weight after surgery and will roughly weigh between 80-90 kilos. Compliance with diet and changing dietary habits will lead to more weight loss. 

Advantages of Gastric Bypass surgery

• The amount of food that can be taken in this surgery is limited.

• Very fast saturation and full saturation for a long time.

• Weight loss starts immediately after surgery

• Over 70% -80% of excess weight may lose.
• In patients with Type 2 Diabetes after gastric bypass surgery, medication requirements are reduced or even may disappear (such as 85%). Blood sugar is easily controlled in these patients.

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