Gastric bypass surgery is a form of Bariatric surgery, and has been performed for over 50 years. It is the benchmark against which other bariatric interventions are compared. Gastric bypass surgery not only reduces how much you can eat, but it also makes you feel less hungry. This is because it interferes with hormones that your control appetite.
After 12- 18 months, weight loss ranges from 65-80% of your excess weight. In many cases this is well maintained. On average, a typical patient who is 50 kilograms overweight, will lose between 32.5 – 40 kilograms after Gastric Bypass surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery is performed using key-hole surgery. A small pouch is formed from the top of your stomach, and this limits your meal size to about 50mls. A limb of small intestine is then joined to this pouch. The rest of your healthy stomach, and the first 150cm of small intestine are bypassed. Your digestive enzymes are still able mix with your food, and enable nutrient absorption. This just occurs further along your bowel than before Gastric bypass surgery.
After Gastric bypass surgery you will stay in hospital one – two nights. and usually return to work within two weeks. However, each patient is different.
Gastric bypass surgery modifies the hormones that play a role in medical conditions such as:
- Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, which may be cured in up to 90% of patients
- High cholesterol levels are returned to normal in over 70% of patients
- High blood pressure is cured in over 30% of patients, with a reduction in medication for the rest
- Obstructive sleep apnoea may be resolved in up to 80% of patients
Complications are unusual once discharged from hospital, but may include:
- A narrowing at the join between the stomach pouch and small intestine. This narrowing may cause eating difficulties and may need an endoscopy to stretch up the join
- Internal hernias, which may require further surgery. There is an approximate 3% lifetime risk
- Patients require life-long surveillance, vitamin and mineral supplementation after Gastric Bypass surgery
- Dumping syndrome which can cause nausea, weakness, sweating, and diarrhoea. It is often triggered by sugary foods
- The published mortality rate after Gastric bypass surgery is below 1 in 1000 cases
- Risk of severe complications such as bleeding, infections and thromboembolism is less than 5%