What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass is also known as Roux-en-Y, and it is a two-part surgical procedure which is performed to aid in weight loss for patients who suffer from obesity and complications surrounding obesity. The first step in the procedure is to create a small stomach pouch, dividing the stomach into one larger portion and one smaller portion. The smaller part of the stomach is connected by way of stomach stapling to create a pouch which can hold approximately 1 cup of food. Because the stomach is so much smaller, now, patients will feel fuller much quicker. This is a type of restrictive weight loss surgery, and accounts for approximately 80% of all bariatric surgery procedures.
The second part of the gastric bypass procedure is the Roux-en-Y creation, which is the “bypass” part of the surgery. Here, the small stomach pouch is disconnected from the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. Instead, the stomach is connected further down the line, at what is called the jejunum. The purpose of this part of the surgical procedure is to reduce the calories and nutrients that the body absorbs. The entire procedure is typically performed on a laparoscopic basis, meaning that tools are inserted through small incisions so the patient does not need to go through more invasive means of operating on them.
Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Work?
Through numerous long term studies involving this surgery, gastric bypass has proven itself capable of helping to provide positive weight loss effects in patients.
- According to Medscape, nearly 1/3 of obese patients suffering from type 2 diabetes who underwent gastric bypass surgery were considered to be effectively cured of their diabetes, meaning that the diabetes was in remission and no longer required medical treatment for as many as six years following the surgery. Studies are still being released which back up this information, showing that patients who maintain their gastric bypass-induced weight loss continue to ward off Type II Diabetes for many years following surgery.
- According to a study by JAMA published in the Archives of Surgery, 100 morbidly obese patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery were compared with 100 morbidly obese patients who underwent the lap band operation. All of the weight loss outcomes for these patients were greater in the individuals who went through the gastric bypass operation. The average loss of excess weight for this group of patients was 64%, whereas the patients who underwent the lap band surgery in this particular study lost an average of 36%.
- In the above mentioned study, 86 of the gastric bypass patients successfully lost more than 40% of the excess weight whereas only 29 from the lap band group had managed to lose 40% of their excess weight.
- In both groups during this study there were 34 patients who had diabetes mellitus type 2. In the gastric bypass group, 76% or 26 patients managed to significantly improve their diabetes type 2. In the lap band group, only 17 patients or 50% managed to improve their diabetes significantly. One year after the study begin; six of the eight patients who had been using insulin in the gastric bypass group had managed to stop using it. In the lap-band group, only one patient out of six who were using insulin had managed to discontinue its use. This is a 75% improvement for the gastric bypass group and only a 17% improvement for the lap-band group.
This study is proof that different types of bariatric surgeries can produce distinct results for the patients that undergo them. Like with any other type of operation, the gastric bypass surgery is not without both positive and negative effects. Patients need to consider the various types of bariatric surgery and choose the one that will ideally fit their needs. Weight loss is not guaranteed by these operations, but they are designed to aid significantly in healthy and natural weight loss over a long term basis.