Laparoscopic gastric bypass is widely considered the gold standard for weight loss surgery. It’s also one of the most reliable procedures in terms of expected outcomes. A gastric bypass restricts how much food a patient can eat at once, decreasing absorption and promoting weight loss.
When performed laparoscopically, a gastric bypass is less invasive than traditional open surgery. In addition, the surgery may offer long-term health benefits for patients diagnosed with weight-related conditions.
Who is a Candidate For Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Laparoscopic gastric bypass is for patients who are obese and would like to lose weight to improve their overall health. When done laparoscopically, the procedure is minimally invasive, allowing patients to recover quickly.
The gastric bypass is a good option for patients who have not experienced significant weight loss through traditional methods, such as diet and exercise. The procedure may also bring significant benefits for overweight patients diagnosed with a secondary health condition.
To find out if a patient qualifies for gastric bypass, a doctor will evaluate the patient’s overall health and review their medical history. Generally, the procedure is performed on patients who:
- Are 100 pounds or more overweight and have a BMI (body mass index) of at least 40.
- Have a BMI of at least 35 and a secondary weight-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea.
- Have not experienced sufficient weight loss through diet and exercise alone.
What to Expect During Surgery
The physician will use surgical staples to divide the stomach into two portions. The upper portion will become about the size of a walnut and will be the pouch into which food is deposited. Because the new stomach is so small, patients will feel full much more quickly after eating.
The pouch will be connected to the small intestine, allowing the intestine to absorb the necessary calories and eliminate the excess ones. The reduced stomach size and calorie intake will support weight loss.
The Recovery Process
After the procedure, patients can go home once they’re able to consume liquids without feeling nauseous or dizzy. Because the surgeon uses small incisions and instruments during the procedure, the overall recovery time or discomfort is greatly reduced, compared to other types of weight loss surgeries.
Many patients are discharged after only a few days in the surgical center. Patients will receive a post-operative nutrition guide that can be used to transition to a diet with healthy solid foods.
To ensure long term weight loss and avoid weight regain, patients must follow their doctor’s instructions for portion sizes, nutritional requirements, and physical activity. A dietician can help patients learn how to make healthy food choices and maximize nutrient intake with a reduced stomach size. Patients will also need to attend regular follow up with their physician to monitor progress.
A laparoscopic gastric bypass alters the way the digestive system processes food and allows patients to enjoy the weight loss benefits that come with feeling full more quickly. To learn more about the procedure, contact our office today.