Gastric bypass is historically the most sought-after surgical weight loss procedure. It’s reserved for those who are living with obesity and have been unsuccessful with other non-surgical methods of weight loss. The operation generally involves shrinking your stomach pouch, restricting future food intake.
There are two types of gastric bypass surgery:
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
This is the more common of the two. The surgeon surgically reduces the stomach pouch, then reroutes the digestive system by attaching a Y-shaped section of the small intestine to the pouch. This creates a bypass for food that will limit the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed by your body.
Extensive gastric bypass
This type of gastric bypass surgery is more complicated, requiring a removal of the lower part of your stomach. The surgeon attaches a small pouch to the end of the small intestine to completely bypass the first two parts of your digestive system. While highly effective for weight loss, this option is less popular because of a high risk for complication.
There are several risks post-surgery you must be aware of:
The stomach may naturally stretch out over time and regress back to its original size.
Breakdown of staple lines
The staples may come apart.
Nutritional, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies
The surgery entails restricting nutrients absorbed by your body, and can potentially leave you short in some areas of nutrition, vitamins, and minerals.
The connection between the stomach and small intestine may narrow, creating nausea, vomiting, reflux, and the inability to eat. You will need to seek dilation for this symptom.
When food moves too quickly from the stomach to the small intestine, you may experience symptoms, such as nausea, weakness, sweating, fainting, and occasionally diarrhea after eating.
Gallstones are prone to forming after rapid weight loss. You can seek medication from your doctor.
There are several measures you should take in order to reduce risks of post-surgery complications, including: