Obesity can damage the body by its mechanically and metabolically adverse effects on normal bodily function; not to mention the psychological anguish it can also bring.
Gastric bypass surgery is a very successful alternative to normal dieting for the obese and overweight, and is an operation that makes the stomach smaller and causes food to bypass part of the small intestine. As a result, a person feels fuller quicker when eating compared to before gastric bypass surgery. The amount of food consumed is less and therefore fewer calories are absorbed – the end result being weight loss.
There are several forms of gastric bypass surgery:
Roux-en-Y Bypass: This is probably the most common gastric bypass being done today. This procedure involves making a small gastric pouch high in the abdomen and just below the esophagus. A segment of small bowel is then divided and attached to this pouch, sometimes behind the colon and remainder of the stomach. The remainder of the small bowel is then attached to the bowel leading from the liver and pancreas in a shape that resembles a ‘Y’. Despite its popularity, there are some risks associated, including a narrowing at the connection between the stomach pouch and the small intestine which may require stretching at the opening, and the risk of a slowing down of the emptying of the pouch and small bowel, causing nausea and vomiting.
Mini Gastric Bypass: This gastric bypass was developed by Dr. Robert Rutledge in 1997. The mini gastric bypass creates a small gastric pouch much lower in the abdomen than the previous technique and incorporates a loop connection with the small bowel that provides for a malabsorption effect similar to that used by the Roux-en-y bypass. A patient who has undergone a mini gastric bypass must be careful to avoid calcium and iron deficiencies. Risks from this operation include leaking, bowel obstruction, blood clots, and pneumonia.
Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass: A Roux en-Y gastric bypass performed laparoscopically. Even though this operation takes slightly longer than the standard Roux en- Y, the recovery time is shorter.
Gastric Banding: This gastric operation also limits food intake by placing a constricting ring completely around the upper end (fundus) of the stomach, creating a shape similar to that of an hour-glass.
Gastric bypass is not an operation for everyone who is obese, as it is a major procedure that poses significant risks and side effects that can require permanent alterations to one’s lifestyle. However the contented customers are numerous – including many figure-conscious celebrities.