Gastric Bypass Options
If you’re thinking about having weight loss surgery, all gastric bypass options should be carefully considered before making a final decision about what’s right for you.
Bariatric surgery is major and is intended to decrease critical weight-related health difficulties or to sidestep them altogether. The term bariatric refers to the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity.
Gastric bypass changes the anatomy of your digestive system to limit the amount of food you can eat and digest. This is the most frequently performed bariatric surgery in the United States. Many surgeons prefer this procedure because it’s safer and typically has fewer complications than other weight loss operations.
The most popular bariatric surgery is called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and is considered the “gold standard” of weight loss surgeries. Studies indicate that this is the most successful procedure with the greatest long-term benefits. In this surgery, the size of your stomach is reduced significantly; a much smaller stomach pouch is created; and your intestines are rearranged to form a Y, bypassing most of your stomach. The technique is definitely among the best gastric bypass options avaiable.
Gastric bypass can be performed using a traditional open technique or through laparoscopic surgery, depending upon your health requirements and the recommendation of your physician. The traditional open technique involves an incision in your abdomen that allows the surgeon to view and access your stomach and intestine.
Laparoscopic surgery uses smaller incisions and a small video camera that projects views of your stomach and intestine onto a monitor in the operating room. Although both methods are routinely performed, laparoscopy may not be safe for you if the possibility of scar tissue exists from previous abdominal surgery, you have acute heart and lung disease or you weigh more than 350 pounds. Discuss these gastric bypass options with your doctor to determine if either technique could work for you.
Gastric bypass is available to a select group of the overweight population. If your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or more, your physician may recommend gastric bypass if you are also experiencing one or more of the following health problems:
Degenerative joint disease
High blood pressure
Obstructive sleep apnea
Weight loss surgery may be an option if you are extremely obese and have not been successful with a more traditional approach to losing weight, including diet and exercise.
If your physician recommends gastric bypass, you must understand that this four-hour surgical procedure is not a permanent weight loss solution in and of itself. The surgery can make your stomach smaller and possibly lessen your desire to eat when you’re not truly hungry; however, you are responsible for your ultimate success. To lose weight and avoid complications from surgery, you must adhere to the eating guidelines and exercise programs that your dietician and physician prescribe.
Although you may need to lose a significant amount of weight, gastric bypass options aren’t available to everyone. Considering its significant risks and side effects, as well as permanent lifestyle changes, your physician may recommend other solutions for weight loss.