When several attempts in conventional ways fail to achieve excess weight loss or maintain a long-term weight loss, bariatric surgery promisingly opens the door to reach that goal.
Gastric bypass surgery, or what is called “Roux-en-Y gastric bypass”, is one of the most important bariatric surgeries that is widespread in Egypt and around the globe.
So, what are the benefits encouraging obese patients to have a Gastric Bypass? And how it differs from the sleeve gastrectomy?
And more questions do concern everyone who is considering bariatric surgery.
What is Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass surgery?
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a weight loss surgery that’s performed laparoscopically using the latest highly precise surgical instruments. The procedure includes two steps:
- Step One: Making a small Stomach Pouch;
The surgeon divides the stomach into a large part and a much smaller one. The top part “the smaller one” – about the size of an egg – can hold a much smaller amount of food.
► With this small stomach and the restricted amount of food you can eat, gastric bypass surgery can make you feel full quickly, and eventually eat less.
- Step Two: The Bypass; Where the surgeon connects this “Stomach Pouch” to the middle part of the small intestine (the jejunum); Bypassing the first part of it (the duodenum) “which is also cut from the small intestine & then reconnected further down to the jejunum”.
► So when you eat, food passes directly from the stomach into the jejunum; Which limits the absorption of food and its calories.
- Gastric bypass surgery takes approximately 50 minutes.
The significant advantages of the Gastric Bypass
There are precious benefits for obese patients associated with gastric bypass surgery, including the following:
- In the short term, Achieving 60% to 80% excess weight loss within 12 to 18 months (which means that if you weigh 150 kg, you can lose over 50 or 60 kg of your body weight during that period only).
- In the long term, Research and clinical trial show that even after 10 to 20 years of gastric bypass, most people maintain the excess weight loss without turning back to obesity.
- A faster “fullness” feeling after the surgery and a decreased feel of hunger between meals.
- “In fact, Gastric Bypass surgery is an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus”.
This is confirmed by well-designed studies & clinical trials, as type 2 diabetes begins to disappear within days of the gastric bypass surgery with no need to wait for weight loss to occur.
During the first year after gastric bypass, approximately 75% of patients achieve long-term remission without having to take medications again. Studies have found that this recovery could continue during the five-year post-surgery follow up; Especially with adherence to a healthy lifestyle and following the doctor’s instructions.
While the rest of the patients achieve a significant improvement that prompts the doctors to prescribe lower doses of medications. Also, some of the patients who use insulin could be able to take diabetes pills instead. That’s in addition to reducing the risk of diabetic complications.
- Gastric bypass has a profound positive influence on obesity-related comorbidities; it could achieve either a major improvement or complete remission in many cases. For example:
→ Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, sleep apnea, GERD, and bronchial asthma are either resolved or improved in 80% to 100% of the patients.
→ Arthritis, back or extremity pain, and depression are also improved in 52% to 73% of the patients.
➭ The patients’ quality of life has dramatically improved even at 6 weeks postoperatively in 35% of the patients, and this increased to greater than 80% after a year and a half.
- Early excess weight loss can help protect obese patients against previous health issues.
- The psychic & emotional status improves significantly after the surgery, especially when weight loss begins and the feeling of confidence & good health grows up; In addition to reducing or discontinuing medications that were used to treat obesity-related diseases when the doctor sees that the patient no longer needs them.
- Gastric bypass surgery can be done for people who eat too much sugar and candy, as it combines both “restrictive” and “malabsorptive” weight loss mechanisms.
- Gastric bypass surgery is performed laparoscopically, which means:
→ Hospital discharge within a day of the operation.
→ Less pain, and better aesthetic results.
→ Return to daily activities nearly after a week.
- To make the procedure almost pain-free, Dr. Tarek Abouzeid installs a pain relief device (or PCA pump) for his patients after the surgery, so that the device pumps regular and precisely calculated analgesic doses into the body, letting the pain feeling fade away.
➤ Despite being one of the oldest bariatric surgeries, Gastric Bypass is still popular nowadays. That is evidence of its safety and effectiveness which is increasing day by day as surgical techniques and procedures progress.
➤ Gastric bypass surgery can be reversed when needed for any cause, as the separated part of the stomach remains unremoved from the body.
Are there any complications related to Gastric Bypass?
Well… We are committed to following the latest procedures, using precise surgical instruments accurately & skillfully, and applying the latest anesthetic techniques; To make gastric bypass a very safe procedure and to greatly reduce any potential risk for complications, including:
– Leakage from the stomach wall.
– Bleeding or infection. Which we follow the latest methods of surgery and sterilization to avoid them efficiently.
Gastric bypass surgery may be followed by some other complications, such as:
– Dumping syndrome or rapid stomach emptying, causing symptoms after eating, the severity of which varies from person to another, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Your doctor will then give you some tips on eating, and recommend avoiding certain foods (such as sugars) and eating other foods (such as those rich in fibers), until you get better and back to normal.
– Some patients may suffer from gallstones after massive weight loss, which can be treated during the follow-up with your doctor.
– It is rare to experience intestinal obstruction or hernias, especially when the surgery is performed laparoscopically.
➥ We highlight the importance of adherence to our doctor’s instructions regarding diet, eating tips, vitamins & supplements, as well as for avoided medications after the procedure (like aspirin or certain types of analgesics). This actually plays the most important role in avoiding complications after the surgery, such as ulcers, malnutrition, or stomach stretching.
Is Gastric Bypass surgery the right choice for everyone who is obese?
Due to the physical and health status differences, you can discuss with your doctor whether you are a candidate for gastric bypass. This may require some lab tests.
But as a general rule for most bariatric surgeries, the gastric bypass can benefit obese people who have a BMI over 40, or those having a BMI below 40 with an obesity-related disease.
It can also benefit diabetics or those with addiction to sugar and candy, helping them achieve better results than some other bariatric surgeries.
Types of Gastric Bypass surgery:
Depending on the patient’s need, two types of gastric bypass are currently performed:
1) Classic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB).
2) Mini gastric bypass (or single anastomosis gastric bypass (SAGB)).
Gastric bypass is a unique experience to improve the quality of life. During the postoperative first month, you go through the stage of eating small quantities of soft foods and liquids… Gradually, you will be able to add solid foods to your diet.
After eating a few tablespoons of food, you will quickly feel full. And your doctor would also recommend taking nutritional supplements.
Within a few months, you can expect to lose about two-thirds of your excess body weight, and most importantly, with no weight regain.