Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass
What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is the most common type of surgical procedure for weight loss. During gastric bypass surgery, the digestive system is rearranged to limit the body’s ability to consume food and absorb nutrients, leading to significant weight loss.
During the procedure, the stomach is divided into two sections; a small pouch (about the size of a walnut) restricts how many calories can be consumed while a larger, second pouch is sealed off. Next, a section of the small intestine is divided to bypass the larger pouch and connect to the newly created small pouch.
What Causes the Need for Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery is recommended for extremely obese individuals whose effort to lose weight by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising has not produced results. These individuals are either obese (BMI of 35 to 39.9) with weight-related health problems including type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, or are extremely obese with a BMI of 40 or more. Other weight-related health issues that may warrant gastric bypass surgery include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
Steps for Diagnosis and Treatment
To be diagnosed with extreme obesity and treated by way of gastric bypass surgery,Dr Ronak Patel will perform a thorough physical evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if the benefits of gastric bypass surgery outweigh the risks, and whether there are other weight-loss surgeries better suited for your condition. During the evaluation, you will be asked about your:
- Current nutrition and weight history
- Current medical condition and medical history
- Psychological health
- Motivation to make lifestyle changes
Benefits of Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery
Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is minimally invasive and offers the least amount of risk for wound infection. The entire procedure is done through several small incisions, dramatically reducing the length of your hospital stay as well as post-surgery pain, recovery time and scarring.
Is Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery Right for You?
Gastric bypass surgery is best suited for highly motivated individuals who are dedicated to losing weight, changing their diet, and incorporating exercise into their lifestyle to live a happier, healthier life. There is no guarantee the procedure will help you lose all excess weight or maintain long-term weight loss. Without your commitment to healthier lifestyle changes, you could gain the weight back.
Preparations Required for Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery
Because every patient is different, Dr. Patel will provide pre-operative instruction specific to your unique condition. Preparations may include:
- Completing a nutrition-focused program to help with weight loss and management.
- Incorporating an exercise regimen into your weekly routine.
- Eliminating the use of aspirin products or any type of blood thinner a week prior to surgery. Other prescription or over-the-counter medications will be addressed at this time.
- The day before surgery, patients are prohibited from eating solid food and restricted to clear liquids only.
- You may be given a special, anti-microbial solution with which to cleanse your body the morning of surgery and prescribed a laxative to empty your bowels.
The Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery Procedure
- During the procedure, patients are placed under general anesthesia.
- Through 4 to 6 small incisions, tiny instruments and cameras are used to enter the abdomen and view the stomach and small intestine.
- Using staples, the stomach is divided into a small upper pouch and a large lower pouch.
- Next, the small intestine is attached to the small upper pouch, bypassing the large lower pouch.
- During the procedure, two small catheters are temporarily left in place to prevent gastrointestinal leaks.
What to Expect During Recovery
- Consistent with any type of surgery, patients can expect some pain and discomfort immediately following the procedure. IV pain medication is administered to help alleviate discomfort.
- As soon as possible, patients are asked to get up and walk around to reduce the risk of a blood clots. Some patients may also be asked to wear compression stockings or take blood thinners to maintain blood flow in the legs.
- Within 2 days, the gastrointestinal catheters are removed.
- Within 3 to 5 days, patients are discharged from the hospital and a follow up appointment is scheduled 4 weeks after surgery.
- Additional follow-up appointments are scheduled every 3 months for the first year.
- The first week after surgery, patients are restricted to a liquid diet only while the staple lines heal.