A Gastric bypass is a surgery in which size of the stomach is reduced; this is done to make you feel satisfied with smaller portions of food. By feeling satisfied, you quickly eat less and by eating less you begin to lose weight. This surgery is ideal if you present morbid obesity that puts your health at risk and no diet has worked for you, but like any major surgery it presents risks and possible complications.

Here you will learn who is the ideal candidate for a gastric bypass, how is the surgery, its risks and complications, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure.

The gastric bypass technique in directly connecting the intestine to the small stomach, thus enhancing the weight loss results, making then even better than with a gastric band.

Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most popular interventions used for the treatment of morbid obesity. It is considered one of the procedures that offer good over time, and the one that least impacts the quality of life of the person subjected to it. Unlike gastric band, this process is characterized by anatomically modifying the digestive system to treat severe obesity.

Who is the ideal candidate for gastric bypass?

To be considered an ideal candidate you must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Obese individuals who have already tried other methods to lose weight and nothing worked.
  • BMI (Body Mass Index) greater than 40.
  • Men who are 100 lbs. overweight and who are well above their ideal weight.
  • Women who are 80 lbs. above what would be their ideal weight.
  • If you have a BMI over 35 and suffer from an illness that is a product of obesity and is putting their health at risk.

People who are overweight or moderately obese are not considered candidates for this type of surgery; this procedure is designed to lose large amounts of weight.

What are the advantages a gastric bypass?

  • Improving the treatment of certain diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, asthma, gastritis, and obstructive sleep apnea in 80% of cases.
  • It improves back pain, arthritis and depression by 70%.
  • It guarantees a weight loss of more than 70% in the first 18 months after surgery. In fact, studies show that about 77.5% of body weight is lost in the first year after surgery.
  • The wonderful thing about gastric bypass surgery is that it is a restriction surgery, that is, the size of the stomach reduced proportionally, therefore you will not feel the same sense of hunger you did before the surgery. This is convenient, since your usual food portions will be reduced and the weight loss will be much faster. It is recommended that you adhere to a new feeding scheme and in small portions to avoid complications such as dumping syndrome.
  • It is important you avoid refined foods and excessive amounts of carbohydrates.
  • Another benefit of gastric bypass is that it prevents the calories from food being absorbed as they would naturally, benefitting weight loss.
  • Studies show the healing benefits of gastric bypass in diabetes mellitus.
  • Undergoing a gastric bypass improves lipid metabolism and the function of certain hormones involved in the process of digestion and absorption of food.
  • Success in long-term weight-loss is guaranteed. Results show that over 90% of patients who undergo gastric bypass lose at least 50% of body weight shortly after surgery.
  • Once the weight is lost, the usual treatments for obesity and drug use is substantially reduced, so that regular physical activity becomes much easier and beneficial to the person.
  • Without any doubt, surgery can provide extensive physical benefits, but also personal, because upon reaching your goal, you will have more energy and feel more confident in yourself and your body.

What are the disadvantages of a gastric bypass?

  • It is one of the interventions where serious complications may occur, such as respiratory problems during or after surgery.
  • For individuals with problems of addiction to tobacco and/or alcohol there can be complications if the measures prescribed by the doctor are not met adequately.
  • There may be damage to the digestive system.
  • There may be malnutrition.
  • Frequent diarrhea may present itself.

How much weight can you expect to lose with a gastric bypass?

In the first year after surgery you can expect to lose 41% to 60% of the extra weight. Weight loss continues until you reach a loss of 67% of the extra weight.

That is why gastric bypass surgery has one of the best long-term weight loss profiles compared to other primary treatments for morbid obesity.

Once your weight has been reduced, you must implement healthy habits that help you maintain and improve your weight loss. These habits will make your progress faster and more effective. Among them we recommend the following:

  • Eat three small meals a day, to provide the nutrients your body requires.
  • Exercising three to five times a week helps you stay at the weight you want, and improves your quality of life.
  • Write on a board or journal everything you eat during the day.
  • It is important that you continue going to the doctor to evaluate your progress. You’d be surprised how many people do not return to the office after 6 months. Many patients who reach their highest point of weight loss tend to regain some weight.
  • Attending support groups will help you share your experience and see the world differently.
  • Making friends and participating in forums can help you stay informed and always proactive.
  • Including members of your family in your new changes can also help them adopt a healthier lifestyle.
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