Gastric bypass surgery is performed to help patients to lose weight by reducing the size of the stomach. The surgery is performed to help patients with weight-loss after non-surgical methods such as change of diet and regular exercise, have failed to produce results.
The surgery is generally only performed on patients who are morbidly obese and have a BMI (body mass index) over 40, and after other non-surgical methods of weight-loss, such as diet changes and exercise have failed. However, it may also be performed on patients who have a BMI of 35-40 and have health conditions which may threaten the patient's health when combined with obesity, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure or osteoarthritis.
Patients undergoing the procedure must be prepared to make permanent lifestyle changes to their diet and exercise in order to sustain the success of the surgery. The surgery may not be suitable for all patients, therefore a series of tests must be carried out and medical guidelines for the surgery must be abided by, in determining whether or not the surgery is suitable for the patient.
The most common type of procedure is the Roux-en-Y technique, which involves closing off part of the stomach with staples, allowing just a small pouch of stomach to be used, and then surgically attaching it to the small intestine. This restricts the intake of food and the amount of calories and nutrients that are absorbed, resulting in weight-loss.
Patients who have a BMI of 40 or higher and have failed to lose weight through change of diet or exercise
Patients with a BMI of 35-40 who also have health conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure or osteoarthritis
ABOUT GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY
Number of days in hospital: 1 - 3 days
Average length of stay abroad: 2 weeks.
Flying after surgery can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and patients will need to be cleared by the surgeon before flying.
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The patient will undergo a variety of tests in order to determine whether or not they are a suitable candidate for the surgery.
In preparation for the the surgery, patients will have to follow a diet plan and the consulting doctor will advise the patient about discontinuing any medication that could affect the surgery. Patients are likely to be advised to follow a physical activity program and to abstain from smoking.
Patients with complex conditions may benefit from seeking a second opinion before beginning a treatment plan. A second opinion means that another doctor, usually an expert with a lot of experience, will review the patient’s medical history, symptoms, scans, test results, and other important information, in order to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan. When asked, 45% of US residents who received a second opinion said that they had a different diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment plan. Click here to learn more about how to get a second opinion.
The patient is administered with a general anesthetic before the surgery begins. Roux-en-Y is the most common type of gastric bypass surgery.
The procedure is traditionally performed as open surgery and involves readjusting the size of the stomach so that only a small part of the stomach functions. This new, smaller stomach pouch is significantly smaller in size and is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine.
The procedure is increasingly performed laparoscopically, which involves inserting a surgical telescope through several small incisions, which is guided by a camera and has surgical instruments attached to perform the surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is less invasive than open surgery and has quicker healing times in comparison.
The Gastric Bypass Surgery takes 2 to 4 hours.
HOW IT IS PERFORMED
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BEFORE GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY ABROAD
Post procedure care
It is common to experience some pain at the site of surgery, and patients will usually spend 2 to 3 days in hospital. Patients may experience nausea, and will be given a special diet plan straight away.
Discomfort and soreness is normal for a few days after surgery.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY
Gastric bypass surgery is very successful in helping patients to lose weight. However, due to the risks associated with the surgery, it is only recommended for patients who are morbidly obese.
Not recommended for
Inflammative diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (e.g. Crohn's disease)
Esophageal or gastric varices
Congenital anomalies of the digestive tract (i.e, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, situs)
Severe eating disorders
Alcoholism or drug addiction
Use of immunosuppressants
Problems with general anesthetic
Reaction to the anesthesia
Damage to internal organs
Deep vein thrombosis
In rare cases, surgical complications may lead to death
Bariatric surgery is recommended when other weight-loss options have not worked.
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The stomach is readjusted by sectioning part of it into a small pouch which is connected to the small intestine.