Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Right for You?

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What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gastric bypass surgery is a restrictive and malabsorptive procedure that decreases the size of the stomach and alters the small intestine to help those who are significantly overweight achieve a healthy weight and improved quality of life. If you are significantly overweight and have been unable to manage your weight with diet and exercise, gastric bypass surgery may be right for you.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most commonly performed bariatric procedure in the world and is considered the gold standard of weight loss surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon divides the top of the stomach from the lower part to create a small pouch that is about the size of an egg. Decreasing the size of the stomach prevents patients from eating as much as they re used to as the smaller stomach makes patients feel full quickly.

The second element of the surgery involves dividing the small intestine and connecting it to the small stomach pouch. The top end of the divided portion is connected to the small intestine further down so stomach acids and digestive enzymes from the bypassed stomach and the first portion of the small intestine will eventually mix with the food. Bypassing a portion of the small intestine results in the body absorbing fewer calories. The combination of a small stomach and re-routed digestive system allows patients to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Candidates for Gastric Bypass Surgery

If being significantly overweight impacts your quality of life and health, gastric bypass surgery may help. Although gastric bypass can help patients achieve their weight loss goals, it is not intended for those wishing to lose a few extra pounds. Ideal candidates for gastric bypass surgery include those who:

  • Are more than 100 pounds overweight
    Have weight-related health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obstructive sleep apnea
    Are unable to maintain or achieve a healthy body weight
  • Are unable to achieve a healthy body weight with dieting, including medically-supervised dieting, or exercise
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) over 34

The Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery can have life changing results, allowing patients to enjoy improved health, confidence, and mobility while also offering many possible benefits that include:

  • Alleviated obstructive sleep apnea
  • Reduced occurrence of gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reversal of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced lower back and joint pain
  • Improved confidence
  • Increased energy

The Risks of Gastric Bypass Surgery

All surgeries carry risks, so it’s important that you are aware of the potential risks of gastric bypass surgery and speak to your doctor about whether or not this treatment is right for you. Some potential risks include:

  • Pouch stretching: After gastric bypass surgery, the stomach may stretch back to its original size over time if too much food is consumed leading to weight gain.
  • Stomach stenosis: The area where the stomach and small intestine meet may narrow, resulting in stomach stenosis, which causes nausea, vomiting, and an inability to eat.
  • Gallstones: Losing weight too quickly can increase the risk of gallstones.
  • Nutritional deficiencies:Gastric bypass limits the amount of food you can eat as well as the nutrients your body can absorb, putting you at risk for nutritional deficiencies. To avoid malnutrition, patients should work with a bariatric nutritionist to ensure they get proper nutrients from their diet. You can expect to supplement your diet with multivitamins along with iron and calcium.
  • Dumping syndrome:Dumping syndrome occurs when food moves too quickly from the stomach to the small intestine and remains undigested, causing symptoms like sweating, nausea, and fainting.

Find Out if Gastric Bypass Surgery Is Right for You

If you’re tired of being significantly overweight and experiencing multiple health problems, it’s time to improve your quality of life and achieve a healthy BMI through bariatric surgery. To find out if you're a candidate for a gastric bypass procedure, we welcome you to schedule a consultation at Tijuana Bariatric Center by calling 800-970-0577.

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Author: Dr. Fernando Garcia Govea

Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Garcia is a highly qualified surgeon, and has more than eight years of bariatric treatment experience and two decades in the medical field. His experience (10,000+ procedures) helps him work with all patients including those with a BMI of 80 or higher to improve their quality of life.

Read more here: Fernando Garcia Govea

Dr Garcia

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