Gastric bypass surgery is a type of weight loss surgery used to change the way a patient’s stomach will digest food and how it passed through their small intestines. This process manipulates their weight loss efforts. According to Clinicaltrials.gov, there is no treatment more effective than bariatric surgery for morbid obesity.
Gastric bypass includes Vertical banded gastroplasty, sleeve gastrectomy, roux-en-y, and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. Each type of surgery works for different patients depending on their current health and their weight loss goals. The doctor will choose the best one according to various factors including body mass index.
A surgeon makes one or many incisions along the abdomen and divides the stomach into a small and large section. The top one is the pouch where food goes when the patient eats. This will hold about an ounce of food. The bypass is created by connecting the small pouch to the small intestine to a small hole made in that pouch. This makes the patient absorb fewer calories.
Patients typically stay in the hospital for three to five days depending on their recovery process. Many patients do not eat anything for up to three days after surgery. A specific post-op diet must be followed after gastric bypass that includes liquids, soft foods, and later solids.
Many patients have a catheter from their nose and stomach. After a few days, the tube is drained of any fluids found in the stomach. Some patients even have one in their bladder for urine to be removed. In order to be discharged, a patient must keep down foods and be able to move without pain.
It’s no secret there are complications with any type of surgery, not just gastric bypass. Some of the most common ones are infection, blood clots, lung and breathing problems, gastrointestinal leaks, and excess bleeding. Some patients may also experience gallstones, vomiting, bowel obstruction, dumping syndrome, and ulcers.
The diet chosen for each patient will depend on their body mass index, their hydration, and their current health status. Patients typically have liquids only for a few days then switch to a soft foods diet for six to eight weeks. After the body transitions, it will be able to have regular solid food. During this change, patients must take many vitamins including protein, iron, calcium, and Vitamins B12, D, K, E, and A.