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Gastric Bypass Surgery

Find out more about gastric bypass surgery

If you are morbidly obese, have tried every weight loss technique in the book and find that the extra weight is a threat to your life, you may be a candidate for gastric bypass surgery. This is the name given to a variety of procedures, all of which reduce stomach capacity and lessen hunger.

People who undergo gastric bypass surgery (also known as bariatric surgery) report that they lose weight easily, sometimes up to half their body weight, in a short amount of time. This type of surgery reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other conditions that are often found in morbidly obese people. Learning about gastric bypass surgery may help to save your life.

Types of Gastric Bypass Surgery

There are several different types of bariatric surgery. They include:

  • Gastric bypass, Roux en-Y (proximal). This type of surgery connects the small bowel to a small pouch in a Y-shape, creating a reduced stomach capacity. This is the most common bariatric procedure in the United States.
  • Gastric bypass, Roux en-Y (distal). Connects the Y-configuration of bowel and stomach lower down the intestine, where nutrients and fats are not absorbed as well. May be used in extreme cases of obesity.
  • Loop gastric bypass. Instead of creating a Y-configuration, this type of surgery uses a loop of small bowel for reconstruction. However, the side effects of ulceration and erosion from the small bowel's acids and bile caused patients extreme discomfort and secondary medical complications, so this type of surgery is not used much today.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Information

Before undergoing any procedure, your doctor will give you a fact sheet with information on gastric bypass surgery and may send you to a weight loss surgery seminar to help you learn about life after gastric bypass and healthy diets you can follow afterward. Your stomach will be reduced by approximately 90 percent, and side effects of this may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting when you eat too much
  • Complications from the surgery
  • Ulcers and leakage in the stomach
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Dumping syndrome may also occur. This is when a gastric bypass patient eats sugary food – the sugar passes rapidly into the bowel, causing shakiness, cold sweats, exhaustion and anxiety. Diarrhea then follows approximately 30 to 45 minutes later.

Make sure that you do your research before agreeing to this kind of surgery. Your doctor can help you decide if it's right for you.

Weight Loss