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Gastric Bypass Information

WHAT IS GASTRIC BYPASS?

Gastric bypass, also known as Roux-en-Y bypass, is the most popular bariatric surgery which is designed to reduce your food intake and help you lose weight if traditional weight loss methods have proven ineffective. Gastric bypass is a complex surgery, but has become less invasive than in previous years because, in most cases, it is now performed laparoscopically, with minimal incisions.

During the surgery, the stomach is sectioned off into a very small pouch and the remaining portion of the stomach is permanently stapled off, in effect, bypassing the stomach. Then, a Y-shaped section of your small intestine is attached to the stomach pouch, which effectively decreasing the absorption of nutrients. The goal of gastric bypass is to significantly restrict food intake, reduce hunger, and promote weight loss.

GASTRIC BYPASS PROS & CONS

PROS

  • Weight loss is usually dramatic, and most patients lose 50% of their excess weight in six months.
  • Weight loss can continue up to 2 years after the procedure.
  • Patients generally experience better long-term weight loss results from gastric bypass than people who use diet and exercise alone.
  • The average total weight loss from gastric bypass is slightly higher than what is reported from other bariatric surgeries.
  • The change in your anatomy forces you to change your diet and modify your behavior after surgery, because you have a smaller stomach pouch, which means overeating can lead to discomfort and dumping syndrome.
  • Obesity-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, or sleep apnea, often improve quickly or go away completely once you lose weight.
  • Gastric bypass has proven results, and studies have shown the in the long-term, most people keep their weight off for 10 or more years.
  • No foreign objects are implanted in body, such as the lap band. This eliminates the risk of a band slipping, eroding, or causing an infection.

CONS

  • Gastric bypass puts you at risk for nutritional deficiencies, because the surgery is designed to reduce nutritional intake, increasing the risk of anemia or osteoporosis. Most patients have to take nutritional supplements for the rest of their lives.
  • The risk of complications, such as separation of the stapled area or leaks along the staple lines, indicates the need for major revisional surgery.
  • Rapid weight loss can lead to gallstones.
  • Dumping syndrome is a common risk where food is “dumped” from the stomach into the intestines too quickly, which can be very painful. Dumping syndrome leads to symptoms of nausea, bloating, sweating, weakness and diarrhea.
  • Unlike gastric banding, this procedure is irreversible and permanently changes your body’s digestive system.
  • Although complication rates are still relatively low, the surgery has a much higher rate of complications and death than less invasive procedures, such as the LAP-BAND.

GASTRIC BYPASS VS. LAP-BAND SURGERY

Gastric bypass surgery irreversibly changes your digestive tract, by making the stomach smaller and bypassing a significant portion of the small intestines. By comparison, the LAP-BAND is an adjustable, removable band which divides the stomach into a tiny pouch and the remaining portion below, and the digestive tract is not changed. The LAP-BAND procedure takes approximately 25 minutes to perform, whereas gastric bypass takes one to four hours to finish. Patients can be discharged the same day as their surgery after getting the LAP-BAND, but gastric sleeve patients typically spend between four to six nights at the hospital for monitoring. Recovery is a quicker process for LAP-BAND patients, but with either procedure, there will be a period of adjustment and healing. Gastric bypass patients can expect to return to work within three weeks after their surgery and must wait about five weeks before normal activities can be resumed. By comparison, LAP-BAND patients generally are discharged from the hospital the same day as their surgery is performed.

Both the LAP-BAND and gastric bypass surgeries have risks, and 9% of LAP-BAND patients suffer from complications, whereas 23% of gastric bypass patients have complications. The risk of major complications for LAP-BAND patients is 0.2%, and 2.1% for gastric sleeve patients. The risk of death from either procedure is low, but much higher risk for gastric bypass patients, between 0.5 to 2%. The mortality rate is 0.05% for the LAP-BAND surgery.

If complications occur after LAP-BAND surgery, usually they have less of an effect on overall health and only require minor revisional surgeries. Some of the complications which can result from LAP-BAND surgery include band slippage or access port problems. Complications associated with gastric bypass generally result in more serious problems which require major revisional surgery, such as leaking along the staple lines.

The LAP-BAND is a less invasive surgery which leaves the digestive system intact and has a low risk of malnutrition, since nutrients are still absorbed in the same way after surgery. Generally, patients will lose weight more quickly after gastric bypass procedure than the LAP-BAND procedure, and studies show that the overall weight loss is higher for gastric bypass patients.

One of the disadvantages of the LAP-BAND procedure includes the implantation of a medical device, which may cause complications such as band slippage or erosion. The access port attached to the LAP-BAND device may leak, as well, which requires a minor revisional surgery. Patients may not see the LAP-BAND surgery as an attractive option if they do not wish to go to extensive follow up appointments to adjust or fill their LAP-BAND device, which inflates or deflates the band, making it tighter or looser, depending on their weight loss goals. Weight loss is more gradual with the LAP-BAND, as well, and patients may lose less total weight than those who opt for a more invasive procedure.

Disadvantages of the gastric bypass procedure include the fact that it is a permanent, irreversible procedure, and the stomach may stretch if you are not self-disciplined with your diet, resulting in weight gain. Gastric bypass also has a much higher rate of complications and risks associated with it compared to the LAP-BAND procedure. The risk of death from gastric bypass is about ten times higher than LAP-BAND.

To learn more about Gastric Bypass Surgery, as well as other weight loss surgery in Los Angeles, please call 855-690-0560.