Types of Gastric Bypass
A gastro-intestinal bypass is an extreme weight loss solution offered to those individuals who are unable to lose weight via any other method. There are three types of gastric bypass operations available. Like other forms of weight loss surgery, a gastric bypass operation aims to reduce calorie intake and appetite, as well as calorie absorption, all in the same procedure. Whilst there are some risks involved—as there are with any surgical procedure—the resultant weight loss can be very dramatic and life-changing.
A gastric bypass procedure involves a surgical reduction of the stomach so the patient ends up with a functional stomach that can be as small as a golf ball. Because the stomach is so much smaller following surgery, appetite is reduced as the patient feels full after eating a very small amount of food. This helps to significantly reduce calorie intake. During the operation, the intestines are also rearranged to allow food eaten to bypass the main absorption zone—hence the name gastric bypass.
One of the most popular types of gastric bypass procedures is known as Roux-en-Y Stomach Surgery. During this procedure weight loss staples or plastic bonding is used to separate the upper portion of the stomach from the rest of the stomach. The small pouch that is created is then attached to the lower end of the small intestines. Food is passed from the esophagus into the small stomach pouch, and then out through the lower end of the small intestines and into the colon. The “Y” derives from the way the upper intestines are reconnected to the rest of the intestines. This procedure helps to reduce fat absorption and is the most common type of gastric bypass surgery performed.
Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery is usually carried out via a laparoscopy and only takes about thirty minutes. The stomach is stapled into a tube rather than a pouch, which allows minimal surgery on the intestines. The procedure is less invasive than the Roux-en-Y procedure and there is some evidence that suggests it is actually more effective. Unlike the other two types of gastric bypass, mini gastric bypass surgery requires a relatively short hospital stay and is considerably cheaper.
Biliopancreatic Diversion Surgery is far more invasive and involves the removal of a large section of the stomach. The stomach is cut vertically rather than horizontally and the small portion of stomach that remains is then attached to the lower end of the small intestines, as in the Roux-en-Y procedure. However, unlike that operation, the upper end of the intestines is sealed before being left unattached within the abdominal cavity. Also, unlike the other procedures, the pyloric valve that controls the release of food from the stomach is left intact, as well as a large amount of the upper small intestines.
All these types of gastric bypass surgery are by their very nature irreversible procedures and therefore require a great deal of careful consideration before being undertaken. A gastric bypass operation is a life changing surgical procedure that should only be chosen when all other methods of weight loss have failed.