This procedure is applied in treating morbid obesity. Some people cannot control their body weight through exercise and dietary efforts leaving this procedure the only viable option. It is recommendable in cases where obesity threatens of exerts adverse effects on quality of life. A hundred pounds over the ideal weight is considered life threatening. According to insurance companies, ideal body weight is one at which life is expected to be longest.
Two major effects produced by gastric bypass surgery are responsible for correcting morbid obesity. One of the effects is reducing stomach volume available for digesting and absorbing food. When the functional stomach volume is reduced, food digestion and absorption are also reduced. This reduction translates into reduced overall body weight.
The other resultant effect achieved through this procedure is the alteration of the response to food given by the stomach. Patients who recently underwent the procedure feel different after consuming food. A feeling of satiety is felt after taking a small quantity of food. This feeling may stay for over a few weeks but gradually fades away as stomach pouches enlarge to hold more substance. Obesity rarely comes in again after one has undergone the operation.
Mini, distal, and proximal gastric bypass are the three major variants of this surgery. Of all the three, proximal is more commonly practiced than the others. It has wide application in the US than any other surgical procedure meant for correcting morbid obesity. In 2008, morbid obesity was corrected in over 200, 000 patients using this procedure. Food is allowed to flow via the Roux limb from the small intestine after the small intestine is rearranged into a Y-configuration.
In the distal variant, absorption of food is reduced by moving the Y-connection down the gastrointestinal tract. Although surface available for absorbing food is highly reduced, the absorption process is made very efficient. There is high obstruction in the absorption of fats, certain minerals, starches, and vitamins that can dissolve in fats. As a result, weight is lost constantly until a desirable level is achieved.
This procedure is also not without complications. People have been known to over stay in hospitals receiving treatment following the procedure. Some patients also die from the operation. Complications are heightened by pre-existing medical conditions like heart disease, diebetes mellitus, and obstructive sleep apnea among others.
Complications may occur immediately during operation or later on. Mortally tends to increase over time with most cases being observed during the first thirty days. When seeking to undergo this procedure, it is advisable to go for a surgeon with a lot of experience in this field.
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