At what point should you consider gastric bypass surgery? Is it something your doctor would typically recommend?
Discovering the transformative impact of gastric bypass sleeve surgery may be the key to unlocking your weight loss success. Read on to understand more about this weight loss intervention, how it works, and who should get it.
Introduction to Gastric Bypass Surgery
Also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, gastric bypass is a surgical weight loss procedure that involves altering the stomach and small intestine. This bariatric surgery can be done through open surgery or by use of a laparoscope.
It is a last resort for individuals who’ve attempted to lose weight using other means without any luck. Bariatric surgeons recommend the operation for patients who are overly obese, especially those with a BMI above 40.
Obese individuals with a BMI above 30 but lower than 40 can also qualify for the surgery if they have life-threatening weight-related conditions like Type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
During the surgery, the bariatric surgeon uses surgical staples to create a small pouch in the top part of the stomach. They then make an incision in the lower part of the small intestine and join the lower small intestine to the pouch.
When the patient eats, the food goes into the pouch and down to the lower part of the small intestine, bypassing a large portion of the stomach and upper small intestine. And because the pouch can only hold a small amount of food, the patient can eat less and feel full sooner.
How Gastric Bypass Promotes Healthier Living
- Gastric bypass lowers a patient’s risk for weight-related conditions like high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and stroke.
- Physical health improves as patients lose weight after surgery. They can do activities they previously couldn’t. Participating in activities with family and friends helps them bond more.
- As their body changes, they develop a healthy body image. A positive body image leads to improved psychological well-being. A positive body image also means they are no longer self-conscious and can freely interact with others.
- Their confidence level shoots. They feel confident going for opportunities they overlooked in the past and are more confident in their interactions.
- Higher confidence levels open doors that can improve their social and financial status.
The Journey: Preparing for Gastric Bypass
The doctor counsels the patient so they can know what to expect from the surgery, what to do to make the procedure successful, life after surgery, and how to sustain the postoperative lifestyle.
The patient also meets with a nutritionist to help with their dietary questions and a care team to walk the journey with them.
The team prepares the patient for the surgical weight loss procedure with a list of do’s and don’ts.
- Begin a workout regimen.
- Adjust your diet. The doctor will advise on what to include in your diet.
- The doctor may prohibit the patient from using some medications, foodstuffs, or beverages.
Post-Operative Care and Lifestyle Changes
The patient must have regular checkups at the doctor’s. Your doctor will advise you on how often you should visit for checkups. Post-op doctor visits may reduce with time, depending on how well the patient responds to the bariatric surgery.
The doctor or nutritionist may recommend nutrient supplements to make up for what the patient is missing due to the reduced food intake.
Patients should avoid alcohol as much as possible. Alcohol has many empty calories, which can lead to weight gain.
The doctor and care team can organize support and educational services to help the patient cope with post-surgery reality.
Success Stories: Life After Gastric Bypass
For many people, gastric bypass surgery bears good results. Weight loss support groups are a good source of success stories and inspiration for anyone who’s recently undergone an operation to lose weight.