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What is a Gastric Bypass?

A Gastric Bypass is the process of making your stomach smaller by removing a section of the intestines and rerouting what you digest into a smaller section. In more extensive cases, a surgeon removes the lower part of the stomach and connects a small pouch directly to the small intestine. As a result of bypassing a portion of your digestive system, patients feel you feel full much sooner while eating, prompting them to consume much less food.[1] Within the first year of gastric bypass surgery, patients can expect to lose 30-40 percent of their body weight if they stick with a diet and exercise routine and there are no complications.


The most common gastric bypass surgery is called the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Surgeons can perform the procedure via a small incision which makes for faster recovery time. The surgeon staples part of the stomach together or uses vertical banding to make a small stomach pouch. Then, the surgeon attaches a Y-Shaped section of the small intestine to the pouch, creating a bypass for food. This re-routing skips a part of your digestive system so you absorb fewer calories.[2]


What are the gastric bypass surgery requirements?

  • You have a body mass index (BMI) of 40+ (extreme obesity).
  • Your BMI is 35+ and you suffer from at least one weight-related health condition, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension or sleep apnea.
  • Previous efforts to lose weight with diet and exercise have been unsuccessful
  • Some people may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery with a bit lower BMI 30-34 and weight-related health conditions are present.


Some potential risks associated with Gastric Bypass surgery include:

  • Bowel obstruction
  • Infection
  • Dumping syndrome, causing diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Blood clots
  • Gallstones
  • Hernias
  • Internal bleeding
  • Low blood sugar[3]
  • Malnutrition
  • Stomach perforation (breaking open of the stomach)
  • Ulcers

There are also several reports stating that the benefits of surgical weight loss are limited to a five-year period. So, if you’re interested in this option, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will be key to keeping weight rebounds at bay.





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