There is a particular type of surgery that is highly beneficial for people who are intending to lose weight, and it’s gastric bypass. Actually, it is just one of the many bariatric surgical procedures — surgeries for weight loss — available out there, with the others being:
-Sleeve gastrectomy (often referred to as “the sleeve”)
-Adjustable gastric band (usually called “the band”)
-Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (known as “BPD/DS” for short)
Experts consider gastric bypass as “the gold standard” of all surgeries for weight loss, and that is why it’s also the most commonly performed of all bariatric surgical procedures.
In gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is divided into two in order to create a small pouch (about 1 oz or 30 ml in volume) which will serve as the new stomach. Since it is very small in size, it can accommodate only a small amount of food at a time, and this translates to reduced amount of calories consumed every meal.
But that’s not the only thing that is carried out during gastric bypass because the first section of the small intestine is also divided into two, and then the bottom end of the divided intestine is attached to the newly-created stomach. Because of this, fewer calories as well as other nutrients will be absorbed.
Gastric bypass surgery and other bariatric surgeries are minimally-invasive procedures because they entail the use of a laparoscope, which is a slender and tubular camera that enables surgeons to examine the structures within the abdominal region. In gastric bypass surgery, about 5 to 6 tiny incisions are made on the belly area of the individual, into which the laparoscope and other surgical tools are inserted.
Just like other bariatric surgical procedures, gastric bypass surgery has its own set of pros and cons:
Results in changes in hormones, causing decreased appetite while increasing satiety.
Limits the amount of food that can be consumed at a time.
Produces considerable weight loss that can be enjoyed long-term.
Helps maintain more than 50 percent of eliminated excess weight.
Poses greater risks because it’s a more complex procedure than other bariatric surgeries.
Can lead to nutritional deficiencies, in particular those that involve vitamin B12, folate, calcium and iron.
Requires supplementation and observance of dietary recommendations for life.
Can cause dumping syndrome due to the faster emptying of the stomach contents to the intestines.
But just because you want to shed off excess pounds doesn’t mean right away that you can look for a bariatric surgeon to have gastric bypass performed on you. Actually, this surgical procedure for weight loss is not for everybody — you have to meet certain criteria in order for you to be considered as a candidate. They are the following:
-Your body mass index or BMI is 40 or higher, which is regarded as morbidly obese.
-Your BMI is more than 35 provided that your obesity is causing various health problems that can be managed effectively with weight reduction, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea.
-You weigh more than 100 pounds over your ideal weight, which is based on certain factors such as your gender, height and frame size.
-Your previous weight loss attempts involving healthy eating habits and regular exercise have all failed, or you were unable to maintain your ideal weight for a long period of time despite of having expert supervision.
-You are psychologically fit to lose unwanted weight, which means problems that can hinder weight reduction are resolved, such as substance abuse, anxiety disorders, depression, childhood sexual trauma, and binge-eating disorder.
-You do not have health conditions that increase surgery risk or can be complicated by undergoing surgery, such as nutritional deficiencies, liver disease, kidney stones, blood clots and heart problems.