Gastric Bypass is a surgery that helps you lose weight by changing the way your stomach and small intestine process the food you eat.
After the operation, your stomach will be smaller. You will feel full with less food.
The food you eat no longer enters parts of your stomach and small intestine that absorb food. Because of this, your body will not receive all of the calories from the foods you eat.
Why a gastric bypass
Weight loss surgery may be an option if you are very obese and have not been able to lose weight through diet and physical activity.
Doctors often use body mass index (BMI) and health conditions such as type 2 diabetes (adult onset diabetes) and high blood pressure to determine who is most susceptible to benefit from weight loss surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery is not a miracle cure for obesity. It will greatly change your lifestyle. After surgery, you should eat healthy foods, control the portion sizes of what you eat, and exercise. If you don't follow these steps, you could have complications from surgery and poor weight loss.
Gastric bypass surgery is a major operation that carries many risks. Some of these risks are very serious. You should discuss these risks with your surgeon.
Risks for anesthesia and surgery in general include:
Allergic reactions to drugs
Bleeding, blood clots, infection
The risks of gastric bypass surgery include:
Gastritis (inflamed stomach lining), heartburn or ulcers stomach
Injury to the stomach, intestines or other organs during surgery
Leaked line where parts of the stomach were stapled together
Scars inside your belly which may lead to blockage of your intestines in the future
Vomiting when eating more than your stomach pouch
Preparing for a Gastric Bypass
Your surgeon will ask you to have tests and visits with other medical professionals before having this operation. Some of them are:
A complete physical examination.
Blood tests, an ultrasound of your gall bladder and others tests to make sure you are healthy enough to have surgery.
Visits with your doctor to check that your other medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart or lung problems are under control.
Classes to help you understand what happens during surgery, what to expect next and what risks or problems may arise next.
You may want to consult with a counselor to ensure you are emotionally ready for this operation. You must be able to make major lifestyle changes after surgery.
If you smoke, you must quit several weeks before surgery and not start smoking again after surgery. Smoking slows recovery and increases the risk of problems. Tell your doctor or nurse if you need help to quit smoking.
Tell your surgeon or nurse:
If you are or could be pregnant
What medications, vitamins, herbs, and other supplements you take, even those that you bought without a prescription During the week before your surgery:
You may be asked to stop taking medications that prevent the clotting of your blood. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Ask your doctor what medications you should always take on the day of your surgery .
Prepare your house after the operation.
Day of surgery:
Follow instructions on when to stop eating and drinking.
Take the medicines prescribed by your doctor with a small sip of water.
Arrive at the hospital on time.
Gastric By-pass post-operative
Most people stay in the hospital for one to four days after surgery.
At the hospital:
You will be asked to sit on the side of the bed and walk a little on the day of your operation.
You may have a catheter (tube) that goes through your nose into your stomach for 1 or 2 days. This tube helps drain fluids from your bowel.
You may have a catheter in your bladder to remove urine.
You will not be able to eat for the first 1-3 days. After that, you can have liquids and then pureed foods or soft foods.
You may have a tube connected to most of your stomach which has been bypassed. The catheter will come out of your side and drain the fluids.
You will wear special stockings on your legs to prevent blood clots from forming .
You will receive vaccinations against blood clots.
You will be given pain medication. You will take pain relief medication or you will receive pain medication through an intravenous line, a catheter that is passed through your vein.
You can go home when:
You can eat liquid or mashed foods without vomiting.
You can move around without too much pain.
You don't need intravenous pain medication or by injection.
Be sure to follow the instructions for taking care of yourself at home.
What you can expect from a gastric bypass
Most people lose about 10 to 20 pounds (4.5 to 9 kilograms) per month during the first year after surgery. Weight loss will decrease over time. By sticking to your diet and exercising early on, you lose more weight.
You can lose at least half of your excess weight in the first two years. You will lose weight quickly after surgery if you are still on a liquid or pureed diet.
Losing enough weight after surgery can improve many medical conditions, including:
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease ( GERD )
High blood pressure
Obstructive sleep apnea
Type 2 diabetes
Weighing less should also make it easier for you to carry out your daily activities.
To lose weight and avoid complications from the procedure, you will need to follow the exercise and nutrition guidelines given to you by your doctor and dietitian.