Stomach Bypass Surgery

Bypass Risks

Gastric Bypass Health Information

Stomach Bypass Surgery

Stomach bypass surgery is a procedure usually performed on morbidly obese persons to help them lose weight. A person is considered morbidly obese if their body mass index is above 40. Weight loss surgery is also performed on seriously overweight people with a BMI of between 35 and 40 but who have a co morbid condition like hypertension, type II diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea.

Stomach bypass surgery is one of the two classes of bariatric surgeries for weight loss. This class of surgeries is so named because they normally involve bypassing a part of the small intestine. These procedures may also include reduction in the size of the stomach by up to 90%.

Stomach bypass surgery is the most commonly performed class of bariatric surgeries. This is mainly because they seem to achieve the best outcomes with fewer complications. They are also popular because they can now be performed laparoscopically, which means they are minimally invasive and have a shorter recovery period.

Generally speaking, during a stomach bypass surgery, the surgeon will divide the stomach into two parts, a small upper pouch and a larger lower pouch. The small intestine is then re-arranged so as to connect to both pouches. There are several ways of connecting the small intestine to the two stomachs and this is the reason there are several different types of stomach bypass surgeries.

There are a number of different types of stomach bypass surgeries. One very common stomach bypass surgery is the Roux en-Y gastric bypass. This surgery has 2 variations, the proximal Roux en-Y gastric bypass and the distal Roux en-Y gastric bypass but the proximal variation is the one that is more commonly performed. The difference between the two types is where the Y-intersection in the small intestine is formed.

Another type of stomach bypass surgery is the mini-gastric bypass. This is a relatively new procedure invented by Dr. Rutledge in the late nineties. This is increasingly becoming the most commonly performed gastric bypass surgery due to its simplicity, fewer complications and excellent outcomes in terms of sustained weight loss.

Even though stomach bypass surgery has good outcomes, there are a number of risks and complications. Some of the complications are infection, anastomotic leaks, anastomotic ulcers, bowel obstruction, hemorrhage, hernia, venous thromboembolism (blood clots in the veins), nutritional deficiencies and dumping syndrome.

Nutritional deficiencies occur because the significant reduction in the size of the stomach and the bypass of part of the intestine leads to a reduction in food intake and vitamin intake. After surgery, the individual must make permanent lifestyle and dietary changes so that complications of surgery are reduced. Doctors will put the patient on a strict diet and will normally prescribe food supplements. The individual is also required to become more physically active.