Gastric bypass surgery makes your stomach smaller. It helps you lose weight by altering how your stomach and small intestine will handle the food you consume. You will feel less fuller as the food you eat will not be absorbed by stomach or your small intestine.
What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass is one of the most common and successful weight loss procedures. The long term outcomes of this procedure are well researched and documented and today it is one of the most common and successful weight loss procedures.It is called as “The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB)” and is considered as the ‘gold standard’ of weight loss surgery. It should not be confused with other types of bypasses. The gastric bypass works by creating a small stomach pouch which restricts high intake of food and facilitates significantly smaller meals, which translates into less calories consumed. A major portion of the stomach and a part of the small intestine is bypassed( i.e. food does not enter this portion) which causes malabsorption of food thus leading to lesser calories absorption.
- Gastric by pass surgery results in sustained (long-term) weight loss.
- Restricts the amount of food that can be consumed and thus helps in weight loss.
- Produces favourable changes in gut hormones that causes improvement in metabolism and diabetic status.
- Bypass surgery is associated with minimal pain and early recovery of patients as most of the patients start walking on the same day of surgery.
- It is the “gold standard” weight loss procedure.
- Helps in significant improvement of associated illness like diabetes, blood pressure, joint pains, sleeping disorders, infertility issues etc.
- The procedure is reversible
- No part of the stomach / intestine is removed from the body.
What are the Risks Associated with Weight Loss Surgeries?
- The surgery may cause a dumping syndrome, which primarily occurs when the food moves quickly through the stomach and intestines. The common symptoms that can occur are sweating, nausea, diarrhea and dizziness. This syndrome occurs due to carbohydrate rich diet; however, this can be easily avoided if one follows small dietary modifications as suggested by the nutritionist.
- Staple line leak – It is best to discuss this with your surgeon
- There are chances of slight weight regain after the surgery if the patient is non compliant in terms of the diet and exercise regime.
- Long term nutritional deficiencies may be seen in patients who are not compliant with the advised post operative nutritional supplements.
Advantages of Surgery
- Results in sustained (long-term) weight loss
- Restricts the amount of food that can be consumed
- Produces favourable changes in gut hormones that normalises blood sugar level in diabetics.
- Bypass surgery is associated with minimal pain and early recovery of patients. Normally patients start walking on the same day of surgery.
- It is the “gold standard” weight loss procedure.
- Helps in resolution or improvement of associated illness like diabetes, blood pressure, joint pains, sleeping disorders, infertility issues etc.
Points to Remember Before Surgery is Planned
- Patients are usually admitted one day prior to the surgery after all the pre operative investigations including a pre anaesthesia check and clearance has been sought.
- Patients are hospitalized for 3-4 days and their first-follow up appointment is scheduled on 10th day from the surgery when the clips are removed.
- Post-surgery, patients are given a written diet plan for initial few weeks and they are required to be in touch with the nutritionist on a regular basis.
- Patients must eat food in small amounts and chew it well and slowly.
- Follow up is necessary in the first year after surgery as advised by the surgeon and nutritionist.
- The patient is expected to lose on an average 70 % of their excess body weight after a bariatric surgery at a pace of 6- 8 kgs (average) every month.
- Significant improvements are seen in obesity related medical conditions like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and others and most patients require a medication adjustment which must be done by their physician.
- There is an enhanced quality of life with improved stamina, mood, self esteem and body image.
- Obesity surgery is a life altering surgery and must not be confused with cosmetic procedures like liposuction.
Pre and post surgery instructions
Pre surgery instructions:
- Restriction of alcohol and tobacco is advised as it helps in pre and post operative period.
- Follow your surgeon’s instructions for any prescribed medications.
- Comply with the instructions provided by your surgeon for any vital tests required before surgery.
- On the day of surgery, ensure an empty stomach at the start of the procedure to avoid the risk of aspiration.
- Patients are usually admitted one day prior to the surgery after all the pre operative investigations including the pre anaesthesia check has been done and clearance has been sought.
Post surgery instructions:
- Patients are walking around on the same day of the surgery
- Patients are hospitalized for 3- 4 days and are discharged when their oral intake of fluids reaches 1.5 - 2 liters per day.
- Dressings should be removed during the first follow up that is scheduled on the 7th to 10th day of the surgery.
- Patients can resume their normal activities as and when they feel comfortable. They need to follow and respond to their body language. Infact, the physical activity helps them in early recovery and sense of well being
- Carefully follow the diet instructions provided by your nutritionist.
- Ensure regular follow up with your surgeon.