Gastric bypass surgery is a type of bariatric surgery performed to help morbidly obese patients lose significant amounts of weight—without gaining it back. It is considered the "golden standard" for obesity surgery, with a success rate of over 80%. Most patients lose at least half of their excess weight and keep it off for more than five years, as long as they adhere to an active and healthy lifestyle after surgery.
Gastric bypass helps patients lose weight by restricting food intake and altering the digestive process. This is done by creating a small pouch that serves as the new stomach and bypasses a part of the small intestine. There are several different types of gastric bypass procedures, but the most popular is the Roux-en-Y procedure, which involves stapling the stomach and shaping the small intestine into a “Y” shape.
In addition to the significant weight loss results this procedure often provides, gastric bypass may also help to:
While gastric bypass is an effective obesity solution for many patients, it is not right for everyone. We encourage you to continue reading to find out more about this procedure, or call our office to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members.
There are several qualifications that should be met in order for patients to be considered good candidates for weight loss surgery. Many of these qualifications are medically required for patients seeking insurance coverage for their procedure. In order to be considered for insurance coverage, weight loss surgeries must be considered “medically necessary” for the individual patient.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation based on height and weight that measures body fat and determines classes of weight. It is perhaps the most important qualification for patients who are interested in gastric bypass surgery. A normal BMI is 18-25. Candidates for bariatric surgery typically have a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 with a serious illness that can be improved with weight loss, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Other factors taken into consideration include the patient’s physical and mental health and ability to follow a strict diet and exercise program. Patients interested in this procedure should schedule a consultation with their physician.
The ideal candidate for gastric bypass surgery is someone who:
During the gastric bypass procedure, your surgeon uses suture-like staples to create a pouch in the top of the stomach. The pouch is then connected directly to a section of the stomach called the Roux limb. The smaller stomach pouch restricts the amount of food that can be digested at any time and limits the body's ability to absorb fat from food by bypassing the majority of the stomach and some of the large intestine. This combination of restrictive and malabsorptive techniques makes the Roux-en-Y procedure one of the most successful gastric bypass surgeries.
Advances in technology now allow many gastric bypass procedures to be performed laparoscopically, which is a minimally invasive technique that allows the patient to benefit from smaller incisions, less scarring and shorter recovery times. Not all cases of gastric bypass should be performed laparoscopically, as this technique does not provide the same visual field as the traditional procedure. Your doctor will decide which technique is best for your individual condition.
The gastric bypass procedure is performed under general anesthesia and may involve cutting and separating the abdominal muscles during an open procedure. Bypass surgery may take several hours to complete, and hospital recovery lasts four to five days. Drainage tubes may be placed at the incision site after surgery to remove fluid. Patients who qualify for laparoscopic surgery have smaller incision scars, lower risk of hernias, less post-operative discomfort and a shorter recovery time.
To learn more about our Gastric Bypass treatment and to find out if it is right for you, please call 301-975-9546 today to schedule a consultation.