Gastric bypass surgery is a type of weight loss procedure, where certain modifications are made to the digestive system so that the amount is food you can consume is restricted. At times, it can also reduce the amount of nutrients your body can absorb. This surgery is only preferred when other alternative methods like diet and exercise has failed to have the necessary impact. These surgeries are collectively known as bariatric surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery is recommended if your body mass index is over 40. A high body mass index can lead to a wide range of health problems such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes. If your body does not respond to treatments like diet and exercise only then is a gastric bypass performed.
In case you qualify for a gastric bypass surgery, you will be given instructions on how to prepare for the surgery. You need to undergo a set of diagnostic tests before the surgery. There will be limitations on what you can eat or drink, and what medication you can take. The doctor may also instruct you to start a physical exercise regimen and stay away from smoking.
The first step is the administration of anesthesia. This will be put you to sleep before the surgeon begins the surgery. The doctor will make use of staples to segregate your stomach into two halves – a large bottom section and a small upper section. Then the bypass is performed where the small intestine is connected to the smaller upper section. This surgery can be done by making a cut in the belly or by using laparoscope.
You may be required to stay in the hospital for a couple of days after the surgery. The fluids from your intestine will be drained using a catheter for the first two days. Initially you will not be able to consume food or drink water. You may be required to wear special feet stockings to prevent blood clots. The doctor will also prescribe antibiotics and other medications to help you recover faster.Once you go home after the surgery, you will have to eat pureed food and avoid solid food altogether till the recovery process is complete.
Like all surgeries, gastric bypass surgery also carries certain risks. One of them is the stomach returning to its original size due to stretching. The staples can come off. Due to the bypass, the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food decreases. The connection between the stomach and the small intestine can narrow down resulting in vomiting, reflux and nausea. Dumping syndrome may also occur when food moves very rapidly from stomach to small intestine.
Losing weight too quickly may also result in gallstones.