What is Gastric Bypass?

Gastric bypass is a bariatric surgery technique that is among the techniques that are considered mixed because it does not absorb restrictively and selectively. It is restrictive as it significantly reduces the stomach size. And it does not selectively absorb, because it changes the digestive cycle so that the intestine absorbs less fat and sugar. Both properties add up so that this technique achieves very satisfactory results in weight loss and in the treatment of diabetes, hypertension and other obesity related diseases.


How Is Gastric Bypass Performed?

In this surgery, as in sleeve gastrectomy surgery, the size of the stomach is reduced. It is performed as a surgical operation. With this technique and laparoscopically, the surgeon cuts through the stomach leaving a small gap of between 15 and 30 ml (known as a chamber or bag), while the rest is isolated so that food cannot pass through. Another incision in the small intestine allows the surgeon to connect it directly to the newly created small stomach.


How is Gastric Bypass Applied?

It is the transfer of the duodenum to the middle parts by the bypass method. In addition, a significant decrease in the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is achieved with the gastric reduction process. Therefore, by reducing appetite and reducing calorie absorption, the patient effectively loses weight and has more options to maintain it in the long run.


In Which Diseases Is Gastric Bypass Used?

It is suitable for patients with a body mass index of around 40. This bariatric surgery requires general anesthesia, takes about two hours, and the hospital stay is 2 or 3 days. The intervention is done laparoscopically, that is, the surgeon makes 5 small incisions in the patient’s abdomen. Through these incisions, they introduce a camera and the surgical material required for the intervention. It is an almost painless, minimally invasive and very fast healing technique.


What are the Advantages of the Gastric Bypass?

The average weight loss with gastric bypass is much higher (between 60% and 70% overweight) than with other gastric weight loss procedures. It is also much quicker to follow medical instructions regarding the diet. Obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux or sleep apnea may begin to improve even before weight loss. Patients undergoing gastric bypass can greatly improve their quality of life and are generally in very good health.


How long does the Gastric Bypass Procedure Last?

The operation takes approximately 1 to 2 hours, after which people live comfortably for a long time. After discharge, the patient should follow a controlled and progressive diet, starting with Phase 1: liquid nutrition. Additionally, you should carry a physical activity plan that will go from less to more until your final recovery.

The profile of the patient who can undergo gastric bypass is the same as that of other bariatric surgery candidates. If your BMI is between 35-39, it will be checked whether you have obesity-related diseases (diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, etc.).


What are the Gastric Bypass Types?

The most common type of gastric bypass is Roux-en-Y and consists of dividing the intestine and connecting it to the new gastric reservoir. In this way, a deviation of the digestive cycle is made, forming 2 circuits or paths in a Y shape. Food does not pass through the rest of the stomach. It even bypasses the stomach like a real bypass, i.e., passes through the intestine and stimulates the pancreas (this is where the diabetes starts). The secretions from the liver, biliary tract and pancreas, which are necessary for the digestion, pass when combined with the following nutrients. Finally, gastric bypass can be customized according to the patient’s characteristics (degree of obesity, risk factors, etc.).


What are the Risks of the Gastric Bypass Surgery?

The surgery requires more experience and technical skills than the sleeve gastrectomy or other procedures. However, the postoperative period is a simple and less painful procedure similar to other procedures. Because it is a restrictive and malabsorptive technique, the absorption capacity of certain nutrients, such as iron or some vitamins, is selectively reduced. Therefore, the patient should take lifelong vitamin supplements. The patient will need to follow a diet low in sugar, simple carbohydrates or starch. This is because these foods give you dumping syndrome (sudden drops in blood sugar that cause dizziness and discomfort).


How Long Do You Stay in the Hospital After Gastric Bypass?

Although it varies from person to person, patients may stay in the hospital for 3 to 4 days. However, gastric bypass is a technique recommended especially for patients who tend to eat snacks between meals, are considered “gluttonous”, have a compulsive relationship with food and cannot control their cravings. It is also recommended for patients with little physical activity or limited movement to facilitate weight loss. Gastric bypass is indicated for patients who have an impulsive relationship with food.


How much weight can a patient lose via Gastric Bypass?

The amount of weight lost with this surgical technique will depend on the patient’s compliance with the doctor’s diet after the intervention and the amount and quality of the physical exercise performed. The greatest weight loss occurs initially and gradually decreases over time, but up to 50-75% weight loss can be achieved after one year.


When to Return to Work After Gastric Bypass?

It is possible to return to work life after an average of 1 week after the operation. Likewise, after reaching the ideal weight, the stomach will need to be retrained so that the patient does not regain the weight lost and maintains healthy habits with a balanced diet and adequate physical activity.


What Should the patient eat in the Weeks Following the Gastric Bypass procedure?

Post-surgery the patients should eat low-fat foods and foods with high protein content. This is one of the reasons gastric bypass candidates undergo a psychiatric or psychological evaluation to assess their subsequent treatment adherence.


When Does the Gastric Bypass Weight Loss Start?

Weight loss after the operation can take between 1.5 and 2 years. Gastric bypass is performed in people with a body mass index (BMI) above 35-40 and metabolic syndrome (combination of three or more cardiovascular risk factors).

Note that one of the benefits of this type of bariatric surgery, in addition to significant weight loss, is lowering blood sugar and insulin levels, which represents a significant improvement in type 2 diabetes.


Is Constipation Experienced After Gastric Bypass?

Constipation after the surgery is a common discomfort. You can consult your doctor for this. However, gastric bypass and subsequent therapy provide other important benefits for the patients, as there is a significant improvement in asthma, high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux, hypercholesterolemia, or obstructive sleep apnea (very common in people with morbid obesity).