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What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

About Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery

If you've been trying to lose weight for years and nothing seems to work, you might be a candidate for gastric bypass surgery. Gastric bypass surgery is a surgical procedure that shrinks your stomach to reduce the amount of food you can eat, then reroutes your small intestine so you take in fewer calories. As far as weight loss surgery goes, stomach bypass surgery has one of the highest success rates.

However, this type of surgery also comes with risks. Additionally, the surgery won't make you thin for the rest of your life — you'll still have to make diet and lifestyle changes for the gastrointestinal bypass surgery to be successful. Here's what you need to know about this sought-after treatment for obesity.

What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gastric bypass surgery is a surgical procedure designed to help obese people lose weight and maintain healthy eating habits. When you undergo gastric bypass surgery, you might find that you can't eat as much as you used to. When you do eat, your body doesn't absorb calories as readily, making it harder for you to gain weight. You'll feel hungry less often and feel full for longer periods of time. As a result, you may finally shed that weight you've been trying to lose for years.

However, gastric bypass surgery isn't a magic cure for obesity. You'll still gain weight if you engage in unhealthy eating habits. To give yourself the biggest chance of success, you'll have to exercise and eat healthy to lose weight and keep it off. Gastric bypass surgery doesn't automatically make you lose weight — instead, it makes it easier for you to adapt to a healthier lifestyle.

How Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Work?

During gastric bypass surgery, a surgeon will shrink the size of your stomach by stapling part of the organ to make a pouch. Then, the surgeon divides part of your small intestine and attaches it to the pouch. This makes the food bypass part of your digestive system so you absorb fewer calories. In more severe cases, a surgeon might outright remove part of your stomach, but this type of surgery is more likely to result in complications.

How Effective Is Gastric Bypass Surgery for Weight Loss?

Ultimately, it depends on the person. But overall, gastric bypass surgery is one of the most effective weight loss treatments. People who undergo this surgery can drop up to 80% of their body weight in a short amount of time. They might gain more weight over time, but studies have shown that the majority of patients never reach their pre-surgery weight again. While many weight loss treatments only work in the short term, studies have shown that gastric bypass surgery has positive short-term and long-term effects.

What Happens After You Get Gastric Bypass Surgery?

When you undergo gastric bypass surgery, your body will find it harder to absorb nutrients. You might have to take vitamin supplements as recommended by your doctor and adhere to a strict diet. Some patients have to take vitamins for the rest of their lives. For the first few months, you might have to stick to soft foods and liquids before you can start eating solid food again. If you listen to your doctor's instructions, you should drop a large percentage of your weight within the first few years. You'll probably notice that you feel full after eating small amounts of food.

Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Have Any Complications?

Every gastric bypass surgery comes with a risk of complications. Some people suffer from "dumping syndrome" after the surgery, which causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Others suffer from vitamin deficiencies because their body doesn't absorb vitamins and minerals as easily as it did in the past. Some people need additional surgeries to correct issues that resulted from the first.

Over time, your stomach could gradually stretch until it's back to its original size again. Some people deliberately stretch out their stomachs by eating small meals throughout the day. It's possible to find ways around the surgery and start gaining weight again, so it's important to maintain a healthy eating regimen. Some surgeons won't even offer the surgery to their patients until they've lost a certain amount of weight.

Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Right for You?

If you've had trouble losing weight, talk to your doctor about gastric bypass surgery. Your doctor might only recommend this surgery if you weigh a certain amount. He or she might also expect you to start losing weight and conform to a healthier lifestyle to show that you won't start gaining again after the surgery. It doesn't hurt to discuss the procedure with your physician, so schedule an appointment with your doctor if you think that gastric bypass surgery might be the right solution for you.

How Can You Maintain a Healthy Diet After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Once you've undergone gastric bypass surgery, you'll have to adjust to a completely new lifestyle. Bariatric Health and Wellness sells healthy weight loss products that are specifically made for people who have undergone gastric bypass surgery. You can try a wide range of products by ordering one of our starter kits or buy individual products from our online marketplace. Our selection includes entrees, snacks, shakes, smoothies, hot drinks, desserts, soups, protein bars and much more. You can also sign up for our online weight loss program for additional assistance.