Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass
Gastric bypass or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is primarily a weight-loss surgery. Also known as Bariatric Surgery, it works on making the stomach smaller and digestive system shorter. In this, a tiny portion of the stomach is used to create a new stomach pouch, about the size of an egg, known as the gastric bypass. This then arranges for the small intestine to avoid a part of the absorption of food and thereby the calories in it; skipping part of the intestine lessens the amount of food and nutrients absorbed and results in weight loss. The average excess weight loss after the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass procedure is generally higher. Its results are immediate, long lasting and beneficial especially when accompanied with a balanced and sustained lifestyle makeover. The Gastric Bypass Surgery thus effectively combats weight problems.
Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Surgeon makes 4-6 small incision on the abdomen, through one of the incision laparoscope is inserted into the abdominal cavity and from the other incisions surgical instruments are inserted. The laparoscope provides 3D visuals of the abdominal organs. The surgery is performed in two steps: first step is to divide the stomach into a small upper half and large lower half; second step is to bypass the larger half of the stomach by connecting small part of stomach to intestine (jejunum). This creates a bypass for food travelling from stomach to intestine.
The advantage of laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is that; it is minimally invasive, less scaring, associated with fewer complications, less painful and requires shorter hospital stay.
Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is done to manage morbid obesity and life-threatening obesity associated problems like; cardiovascular disease, type -2 diabetes, sleep disorders, stroke, hypertension and chronic acid reflux. The criteria of electing candidate for a gastric bypass surgery include:
• Individuals with BMI 40 or higher
• Individuals with BMI 35- 39.9 and underlying obesity-related health problem like; cardiovascular disease, type -2 diabetes, sleep disorders, stroke, hypertension and chronic acid reflux
• In rare case, individual with BMI 30-34 and life threatening weight-related problem
After a gastric bypass surgery, usually patients are not allowed to eat for 2-3 days to ensure proper healing of stomach and intestine. After 3rd day a liquid diet is started that is followed by a soft diet in next few days. A specific diet plan is to be followed for about 12 weeks after surgery; the diet plan may restrict certain food or amount of food/drinks to be taken. Routine health checkups and lab tests are expected for monitoring of weight-loss. Some individual are likely to face issues like body aches, fatigue, hair loss, dry skin and mood swing in first 3-6 months after surgery. These issues are related rapid weight loss in first few months after the surgery.
After the Procedure
After the surgical procedure is performed, the size of the stomach will be decreased to a greater extent.
• Since the size of the stomach is decreased to a better extent, the amount of food taken by the patient will be reduced. It is because the stomach can accept only a small amount of food. Some of the food taken by the patient will be bypassed through a small section of the small intestine. The result will be lesser absorption of the calories by the body. It eventually controls the weight of the body, without increasing the weight.
• The results of the weight loss and controlled body weight would be faster.
• The results are long lasting.
• The results can be dragged lifelong, when the sustained and balanced lifestyle makeover is accompanied.
• Major benefit apart from the weight loss from this surgery is that the other health problems that are usually caused from the increased body weight can be encountered very easily. So, chronic medical problems like hypertension, diabetes, coronary diseases can be controlled to a greater extent.
• When the gastric bypass surgery is performed through laparoscopy, only minimal incision is enough. Smaller incision would be enough to insert the surgical instruments needed for the surgery. So, the complications of the normal surgery can be eliminated, so the recovery will be sooner and the complications will be minimized. Pain during the surgery will be less. Patients are left with very small scar after the surgery.
• When this surgery is done with laparoscopy, the risk of hernias development will be reduced, which are quite common with the traditional surgeries done with the abdomen.
• Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a reversible procedure.
Though there are many benefits, the patient and the family have to consider all the benefits and risks with this surgery and should take the decision accordingly. This surgery is usually considered as a final alternative to the severe obesity problems.