Gastric bypass is one of the different available bariatric surgery techniques, whose objective is to help the patient to lose weight considerably when it comes to cases of morbid obesity in which other non-surgical treatments have not worked.
Next, we will see in more detail what this procedure consists of, which differs from other bariatric surgery techniques and in which cases this technique is used.
What is the gastric bypass procedure?
The gastric bypass procedure modifies the digestive system based on two criteria: on the one hand, it seeks to restrict the amount of food that is ingested (restrictive criterion), so that the patient has feeling of satiety after eating a smaller amount of food; and, on the other hand, it is intended to reduce the amount of nutrients that are absorbed in the intestine (malabsorptive criterion).
To achieve this, this procedure reduces the stomach to only a small portion of it, separating it from the rest of the stomach (thereby considerably restricting the amount of food that can be eaten before being satiated), and this portion of stomach that it is still used it is connected directly to a more distal area of the small intestine, so that the food does not pass through the rest of the stomach that has been excluded from the circulation of the food or through the first section of the intestine, thus reducing the amount of nutrients that are absorbed.
The decrease in overweight after this surgery is more significant during the first year, in which the patient can lose between 50% and 70% of excess weight, and continues to lose weight more gradually at a slower pace in the following years, with a loss of up to 80% of overweight at 5 years.
However, the amount of weight lost after surgery depends largely on following the diet and exercises indicated, so that, in order to obtain good results, it is still essential that the patient learn to live a healthy lifestyle regarding food and exercise, following the indications of the specialist.
Differences between gastric bypass and other bariatric surgery techniques
The main difference between gastric bypass and other bariatric surgery techniques such as gastric band and gastric sleeve, is that the latter are purely restrictive techniques, that is, they only restrict the size of the stomach so that the patient is satisfied with less food, but the food still continue travelling throughout the stomach and intestine.
The gastric bypass is a mixed technique that adds less absorption of nutrients (malabsorption), since the food “skips” the rest of the stomach and a part of the small intestine. Due to this, with the gastric bypass it is usually possible to lose even more weight than with the other bariatric surgery techniques. In addition, the gastric bypass reduces the size of the stomach used more than the other treatments.
Another difference is that it is a slightly more complex surgery, with a longer duration (between 2 and a half hours and 4 hours approximately), and also a longer recovery time after the surgery, since the patient must remain in the hospital 3 to 5 days after the surgery (approximately 2 days more than the other bariatric surgeries).
In what cases is gastric bypass used?
By means of the gastric bypass procedure, weight losses are generally even greater than with other bariatric surgery techniques, so it is used in those patients who suffer from obesity with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40, that is, with an overweight of more than 45 kg in men or over 36 kg in women, with respect to their ideal weight.
It is also used in cases with an IMC index of between 35-40 when, in addition, other diseases related to obesity such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, or heart diseases are suffered, among others.
Gastric bypass at Vithas Xanit
At Vithas Xanit International Hospital in Benalmadena our specialists have extensive experience of more than 20 years performing bariatric surgery treatments, including gastric bypass. We perform bariatric surgery procedures using laparoscopic techniques, so it is minimally invasive surgery. For more information or make an appointment, please contact us.