Monday, May 9, 2016

What You Should Know About Gastric Bypass Surgery

By Lisa Green

Bariatric surgery is any surgical operation that is conducted with the aim of reducing body weight. The main types that are performed commonly in New York include gastric bypass surgery, gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. Although a few differences exist among these surgeries, they are fundamentally the same in the manner in which they achieve their desired effect. In this article we explore the procedure involved in the bypass operation as well as the associated risks and benefits.

Once you have made the decision to have the operation, you need to visit a general surgeon. Ensure that you have a discussion on the pros and cons of having such an operation and determine whether any other options exist. Most doctors hold the view that surgery should be done as a last resort. One needs to first attempt losing their unwanted weight by instituting lifestyle changes.

The candidate undergoing gastric bypass should ideally have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40. If the BMI value is less than this then the benefits may not be that much. For persons that have weight related complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea, the BMI cut-off value has been set at 35.

The preparation needed for this surgery is similar to what would be required for any major operation. You need to have a number of tests that will help establish whether or not you are fit enough. Some of the tests that will be performed include a full blood count and renal function tests. You may also be asked to stop taking some drugs that are likely to impact negatively on the procedure such as aspirin and blood thinners.

There are two main techniques that are employed in performing this operation. The commoner of the two is known as Roux-en-Y. It is a technique that permits the performance of the surgery through a small opening which reduces the rate of complications and improves the recovery time. The stomach is first reduced in size through stapling or banding and then joined to Y-shaped part of intestines. The first and second intestinal portions are usually bypassed.

Weight loss due to this technique occurs due to a number of mechanisms. A reduction in the stomach size means that you will experience early satiety and a general reduction in the amount of food that is eaten. Another mechanism involved is the reduction in the surface area that is available for absorption of nutrients mainly due to the rerouting of digested food.

The second alternative is what is termed extensive gastric bypass. This is a more radical approach that is mainly used in the event of biliary obstruction resulting from liver disease. It is for this reason that the procedure is sometimes called biliopancreatic diversion. The surgery itself involves the removal of the lower stomach portion and joining the upper portion to the lower part of the small intestines.

There are several complications that may be encountered. The commonest is malnutrition resulting from reduced absorption of nutrients. Dumping syndrome is also fairly common and may be seen in the immediate term or after some years. It is characterized by sweating, nausea, vomiting and weakness whose onset follow the intake of food.

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