Gastric bypass surgery is seen by many as the solution to obesity and, in particular morbid obesity, which is one of the major health problems of the twenty-first century. In simple terms ‘we are what we eat’ and nowadays we are eating more and more of the wrong types of food. Gaining weight is nothing new of course and most of us will have been on a diet and exercise program at one time or another but, for the growing number of people who are now classed as obese, weight loss surgery is really the only long-term solution.
Obesity in America has now reached epidemic proportions with more than 30% of the population of the United States now classed as obese. Perhaps more worrying however is the rise in the number of morbidly obese people and of the increase in childhood obesity and teenage obesity. Although perhaps not considered by many to be a serious problem today, the effects of childhood obesity present special problems when it comes to parenting and will fuel the growth in number of weight loss surgeries in the years ahead.
Although gastric bypass surgery (or bariatric surgery) has been around for half a century it remained, until quite recently, a fairly seldom seen surgical procedure. Today however the gastric bypass, in one form or another, is fast becoming one of the most frequently performed surgeries across much of the Western world, with the United States leading the field.
Obesity surgery has developed significantly in recent years and there are now a number of different procedures performed including traditional Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and mini gastric bypass surgery; restrictive procedures such as the gastric sleeve or lap banding and malabsorptive procedures which bypass part of the intestine such as the biliopancreatic diversion.
There are also variations on these procedures including such things as the vertical sleeve gastrectomy with duodenal switch and of course many procedures are now being carried out using laparoscopic ‘key-hole’ techniques or even robotic surgical techniques. In particular increasing use is being made gastric banding and we will look closely at just what laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding involves, as well as the cost of lap band surgery.
Whatever form of weight loss surgery is undertaken, the basic principle is to reduce the size of the stomach significantly (often producing a stomach pouch which is just one-tenth of the size of the original stomach) to physically restrict the patient’s food intake and thus dramatically reduce the availability of calories. This, in turn, forces the body to call upon its reserves of fat and leads to rapid weight loss.
Gastric Bypass Surgery Is A Long Established Procedure
Although gastric bypass surgery, even with modern minimally invasive techniques, is still considered as major surgery with a wealth of associated complications and risks, its growing popularity is in no small way due to its success in terms of weight loss and the publicity surrounding a growing list of celebrities who have chosen this route.
Throughout the pages of this website we will examine the problem of obesity, and morbid obesity in particular, through a series of articles on obesity looking at such things as how to calculate BMI (body mass index) in an effort to help answer the question which more and more people are asking – “Am I Obese?”. We will also look at many of the medical problems caused by obesity including heart disease, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea and osteoarthritis.
We will also look in detail at all aspects of obesity surgery covering such things as the risks of gastric bypass surgery, its long term side effects, the chances of gaining weight after gastric bypass surgery, the need for a strict post gastric by pass surgery diet and finding suitable gastric by pass recipes.
Gastric Bypass Surgery Is Not Without Risks
Gastric bypass surgery is not something to be taken lightly as, in addition to its obvious benefits, it carries a number of risks which, no matter how small, still need to be fully understood and considered. There is, for example, the risk of death from surgery as well as that of pneumonia, the narrowing of the opening between the stomach and the small intestine, leakage where stapling is used, slippage of a lap band, dumping syndrome and many others.
In addition, there are considerable dietary implications to surgery and the need to plan your food intake and to follow a strict gastro bypass diet in order to keep you healthy by ensuring that you get sufficient nutrients and to prevent such things as a deficiency of vitamins and minerals. You will need therefore to re-learn everything you knew about food and cooking and will need to become very familiar with a range of necessary supplements to take along with your meals.
There is also the psychological effects of surgery to be taken into account which result from the dramatic lifestyle changes which follow surgery. You will of course need to be assessed by your doctor and surgeon for your suitability to undergo gastric bypass surgery, or indeed any form of weight loss procedure, and will need to be prepared for the difficulties that you will face and the support that you will need from not only the health professionals, but also your family and friends.
Finally, there is of course the cost of gastric bypass surgery to be considered and the question of whether or not you can get insurance cover for gastric bypass surgery. This is a problem for many patients as treatment is not cheap and even the cost of lap band surgery can be high even though the procedure is relatively simple.