How does gastric bypass surgery work?
The gastric bypass procedure works in a number of ways. The newly constructed stomach pouch, like many bariatric operations, is smaller and can retain less food, resulting in fewer calories being consumed. Furthermore, because the meal does not come into contact with the first portion of the small bowel, the body will absorb fewer calories. Most importantly, altering the food path through the gastrointestinal tract has a significant impact on appetite, fullness, and the ability of the body to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
How serious is gastric bypass surgery?
Metabolic and bariatric surgery has been found to be one of the safest types of surgeries to undergo. Specifically, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is considered to be as safe if not safer in comparison to other elective surgeries. By utilizing a minimally invasive technique for weight loss surgery, the risks of complications are further reduced. In comparison, sleeve gastrectomy has slightly lower complication rates than gastric bypass.
There are some risks associated with gastric bypass, as with any major surgery. The most common complications of gastric bypass include infection, blood clots, and internal bleeding. Rarely the new intestinal anastomosis or connection can leak. This a serious complication but quite rare in experienced hands. The best way to improve outcomes and reduce complication rates is to use a skilled and experienced surgeon. Our team at Bay Bariatrics would love to discuss any concerns and help you decide if bariatric surgery is right for you.
How much do you have to weigh to get gastric bypass?
There is not a certain weight that qualifies you for gastric bypass. If your BMI is 35 or more and you have obesity-related health issues including diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, arthritis, or others, you may be eligible for gastric bypass. If you are more than 100 pounds over your target body weight or have a BMI of 40 or more, you may qualify. Certain ethnic groups qualify with lower BMIs, so if you have any further questions, please schedule a consultation with our team at Bay Bariatrics to discuss your specific health history.
How long does gastric bypass last?
The gastric bypass surgical procedure takes about one and a half hours, and studies show that long-term weight loss is, on average, maintained for more than ten years. Gastric bypass surgery has several long-term advantages for patients beyond weight loss. Many patients report a significant improvement in their lives as a result of gaining more confidence and minimizing the risk of obesity-related health problems.
How painful is gastric bypass surgery?
Pain is a highly personal response. There will be pain, whether you get gastric bypass or a gastric sleeve, and for some, it can be significant. We wish we could rate the degree of pain you could experience after gastric bypass surgery, but this is impossible since there are so many variables in how people experience and perceive pain. Typically, the larger port sites (still 1 inch or less) cause more discomfort than the small port sites. Still, overall, because it is minimally invasive surgery, pain is quite manageable and quickly resolves.
With that being said, pain is rarely a major concern following surgery. Pain medication can help you manage discomfort, and within a few days, most patients are off all pain medicines and back to work. For a few weeks following surgery, bending over, getting up from a seated posture, and twisting your body might produce intense discomfort. With time, this will go away. The most important thing to remember is that very few, if any, patients would refuse surgery if they could go back in time. So, while you should expect some discomfort, be confident that it will be well worth it in the end.
What foods cannot be eaten after gastric bypass?
In the immediate post-operative period, even nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables may be poorly tolerated, which is why it’s crucial to talk to your doctor about your specific post-op diet. Long-term after the immediate recovery from surgery, most patients are able to eat a normal variety of foods and textures, just in much smaller portions.
Just like with a gastric sleeve, if you want to lose weight after gastric bypass while still getting adequate daily nutrition, there are some items you should include in your diet and others you should avoid. At Bay Bariatrics, we recommend that people avoid sugary foods, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and highly processed foods. Patients should also be cautious when reintroducing meats and fibrous vegetables into their diet. Common sense and chewing well are the best advice.
How long does it take to get approved for gastric bypass?
The usual wait time is 6-8 weeks from the time of the initial consultation. Preoperative tests will be performed during this period to determine whether surgery is a viable option. Blood tests, a comprehensive heart assessment, a chest X-ray, an abdominal ultrasound to check the liver and gallbladder, and, as needed, a meeting with our registered dietitian, psychologist, and other medical professionals are all part of this process. If your insurance requires you to follow a monitored preoperative diet, your wait time may be longer (3-6 months). Our experienced surgeons may also ask you to reduce weight prior to surgery to see if you are capable of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Can you gain weight after gastric bypass?
Following bariatric surgery, some patients gain 5-10% of their body weight back after reaching their lowest weight. For the vast majority of patients, this final weight is still far lower than their pre-surgery weight. The lower your BMI before surgery, the more weight you’ll lose and the less probable you’ll gain weight following gastric bypass surgery. Following surgery, substance abusers are more prone to return to their former behaviors. Furthermore, after bariatric surgery, some individuals continue to misuse alcohol and drugs, thereby substituting one addiction for another. Weight gain after gastric bypass surgery is strongly connected to increased food cravings and a lower sense of well-being. Our support team at Bay Bariatrics is here for you before, during, and after weight loss surgery to help make sure you see success long-term.
Does gastric bypass shorten your life span?
Gastric bypass does not shorten life span but does quite the opposite. By reducing obesity-related health problems life span can be lengthened. There have been many long-term studies of metabolic and bariatric surgery procedures, and it has been found that people experience a profound improvement in health that goes far beyond weight loss. Specifically, there is a great reduction in high blood pressure, type two diabetes, sleep apnea, and overall mortality risk.
How fast do you lose weight after gastric bypass?
According to a Mayo Clinic study, a patient who is compliant and motivated can lose half or more of their extra weight in the two years following gastric bypass surgery. Also, most patients lose weight quickly following surgery, usually within the first six months. The patient’s final weight will settle after a year or two, and most will have lost 65 to 70% of their weight by that time.
How does gastric bypass affect your bowel movements?
Your bowel movements will change after your surgical procedure, be it gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. Expect new smells, increased gas, and cramps from time to time. You will most likely be on a liquid diet for the first week following your Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Then you’ll progress to pureed foods. The purpose of this is to relieve stress on your new stomach as it heals from surgery.
Another advantage of the liquid and pureed food diet is that it helps bowel movements. Constipation can be caused by pain medications, but if you follow the food instructions, this is rarely an issue. However, constipation may occur after you resume regular eating habits. Pain medication, combined with a slower metabolism due to calorie restriction and recent surgery, might cause some difficult-to-pass bowel movements. If this becomes an issue, speak with your surgeon. Constipation can be relieved with the use of fluids and fiber.