Gastric bypass is a surgery that aids in weight loss by altering how both your stomach and small intestine process the food that you eat. After this surgery, your stomach’s size will be smaller and hence you will feel full with lesser food. Weight loss is the ultimate goal of surgery for the treatment of obesity and should be undertaken only when lifestyle modifications do not work in reducing obesity.
How does Gastric Bypass work?
Gastric bypass surgery works on two main principles:
- Restriction: The size of the stomach pouch is decreased, therefore restricting your caloric intake.
- Malabsorption: The bypass is done in the small intestine, thereby causing ineffective absorption and utilization of food calories by the body. Instead the food passes out of the body as stool.
What is the procedure for Gastric Bypass?
The surgical procedure is performed under the influence of general anesthesia mostly and requires a dedicated change in eating habits after the surgery to achieve the aim of the surgery.
There are 2 steps during gastric bypass surgery:
The first step in the surgery is to make your stomach smaller. Your surgeon with the help of staples divides your stomach into 2 parts, a small upper section and a larger bottom section. The top part of your stomach (or the pouch) processes the food that you eat. The stomach pouch can hold only about an ounce or 28 grams of food. Owing to this you will eat less and definitely lose weight.
The second step in the surgery is the bypass. Your surgeon connects the upper stomach pouch to the lower part of your small intestine (the jejunum). The food that you eat now travels from the pouch into this new opening and directly into your small intestine. As a result, your body is unable to absorb and utilize all the food that you eat.
What are the techniques for Gastric Bypass?
Gastric bypass can be done either by open surgery or by a minimally invasive surgery with a tiny camera, called a laparoscope.