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Gastric Bypass Procedure

Gastric bypass surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is surgery that is done to help you lose weight. After the surgery, you will not be able to eat as much as before, and your body will not absorb all the calories from the food you eat.

Gastric bypass surgery is not a "quick fix" for obesity. You must be committed to diet and exercise because you need to continue dieting and exercising after the surgery. People who have this surgery should be mentally stable, motivated, and not be dependent on alcohol or illegal drugs.

This procedure may be recommended for you if you have:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. Someone with a BMI of 40 or more is at least 100 pounds over their recommended weight. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25.
  • A BMI of 35 or more and a serious medical condition that might improve with weight loss. Some of these conditions are sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease

Most people lose about 10 to 20 pounds a month in the first year after surgery. Weight loss will decrease over time, so sticking to your diet and exercise early on will provide the largest weight loss. You may lose half or more of your extra weight in the first 2 years. You will lose weight rapidly soon after surgery, if you are still on a liquid diet or pureed diet.

Losing enough weight after surgery can improve many medical conditions you might also have.Weighing less should also make it much easier for you to move around and do your everyday activities.

Bypass surgery alone is not a solution for weight loss. It can train you to eat less, but you still have to do much of the work. To lose weight and avoid complications from the procedure, you will need to follow the exercise and eating guidelines that your doctor and dietitian have given you.

References

Buchwald H, Estok R, Fahrbach K, Banel D, Sledge I. Trends in mortality in bariatric surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Surgery. 2007; 142:621-632.

Leslie D, Kellogg TA, Ikramuddin S. Bariatric surgery primer for the internist: keys to the surgical consultation. Med Clin North Am. 2007; 91:353-381.

Townsend Jr. CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2008.

Garb J, Welch G, Zagarins S, Kuhn J, Romanelli J. Bariatric surgery for the treatment of morbid obesity: a meta-analysis of weight loss outcomes for laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and laparoscopic gastric bypass. Obes Surg. 2009 Oct;19(10):1447-55.

Buchwald H, Estok R, Fahrbach K, et al. Weight and type 2 diabetes after bariatric surgery: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2009 Mar;122(3):248-256.e5.