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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gastric Bypass Surgery - An Overview

With obesity becoming more of a problem each year, many people are seeking gastric bypass surgery as a way to bring their weight under control. The surgery creates a small pouch in the stomach, which helps in reducing food intake. The procedure also bypasses parts of your small intestine and the duodenum, which causes a decrease in your body's ability to absorb nutrients and calories from the food you eat.

There are different types of gastric bypass surgeries, and the one you will undergo will be determined by your physician and surgeon. The most common surgery creates a small pouch in your stomach by using staples to close part of the stomach. In some cases, surgeons use vertical banding instead of staples. The surgeon will then attach a portion of your small intestine to the new pouch, which allows food to be passed through with less nutritional absorption and calorie addition. This can be done laparoscopically now, which lends itself well to a shorter time of recovery.

An extensive bypass removes the lower part of your stomach, leaving only the small pouch. This is directly connected to the last small intestine segment. This procedure results in good weight loss, but also may leave you nutritionally deficient.

If you have gastric bypass surgery performed, there are certain risks involved. The vertical band can erode, or the pouch can stretch. The staple lines can break down, and you may have leakage into the abdomen from the stomach. This can be serious, since stomach acid is dangerous to your other organs. You may also experience deficiencies in your nutrition, since not as much food is being used by your body.

If you are not morbidly obese, your surgeon may elect to use a less extensive or invasive bypass surgical method, since the risks for complications are greater with more extensive surgeries. If you have an extensive procedure, you may need not just close monitoring, but you'll need to take specific medications and eat special foods for the rest of your life.

Patients who are good candidates for bariatric surgery will include those who understand the changes in behavior they will need to make, when the surgery is over. If someone is addicted to substances, or is too mentally unable to comprehend the changes that must be made, they make poor candidates for this type of surgery.

Gastric bypass surgery will provide a substantial restriction in your diet. This is created mainly by the small pouch in your stomach, allowing you to feel full after only eating sensible portions or small meals. The gastric pouch is small, which causes you to feel full sooner.

Bariatric surgery also creates some malabsorption that is an intended result of the procedure. This is caused by the food separation, as it passes through the "y" shaped limb at the small intestine. The malabsorption is caused by the bypass of the duodenum, part of the stomach, and, in some cases, the variations in jejunum length. Along with special diets and attention to portion control, gastric bypass can give those who were obese a new lease on life.

Derrick L. Hartman writes about San Jose bariatric surgery plus other general medical-related topics.

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