Gastric bypass surgery makes the stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of the small intestine. People have a tendency to feel fuller quicker than when their stomach was its original size. After gastric bypass surgery, not as many calories are consumed because less food is eaten. Bypassing part of the intestine also results in fewer calories being absorbed. Eating less and consuming less calories leads to rapid weight loss.
In normal digestion, food passes through the stomach and enters the small intestine where most of the nutrients and calories are absorbed. It then passes into the colon or large intestine and the remaining waste is excreted.
The most common gastric surgery is a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Using this method of gastric bypass, the stomach is made smaller by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach using surgical stomach stapling or a plastic band. Making the stomach smaller is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine.
The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery procedure is done by making a large incision in the abdomen or by making a small incision and using small instruments and a camera to guide the surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery is usually considered when body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher. Other considerations may include having a life-threatening or disabling condition related to your weight. Doctors should not consider gastric surgery unless the patient is between 18 and 65 years old and has been obese for at least five years and doesn't have ongoing alcohol problems and doesn't have untreated depression.
Gastric bypass surgery usually involves a 4 to 6-day hospital stay or 2 to 3 days for a laparoscopic approach. Most people can return to their normal activities within three to five weeks.
Gastric bypass surgery risks
Infection at the incision is a common risk to all weight reduction surgery. A more serious risk is a leak from the stomach into the abdominal cavity or where the intestine is connected causing an infection called peritonitis or a blood clot to the lung. About 33 percent of people who have weight reduction surgery develop gallstones or a nutritional deficiency such as anemia or osteoporosis.
After a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, an iron and vitamin B12 deficiency occurs more than 30 percent of the time. About 50 percent of people with an iron deficiency develop anemia. The connection between the stomach and the intestines narrows 5 to 15 percent of the time, leading to nausea and vomiting after eating. Ulcers develop 5 to 15 percent of the time. Hernias may develop. Stomach staples may pull loose. The bypassed stomach may enlarge resulting in bloating and hiccups.
Gastric bypass surgery may cause dumping syndrome. Dumping occurs when food moves too quickly through the stomach and intestines. It causes nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, and possibly diarrhea immediately after eating. Dumping symptoms are made worse by eating highly refined, high-calorie sweets. Dumping may make people so weak that they have to lie down until the symptoms pass.
Have you or a loved one had a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass that created serious and threatening complications? Has a loved one died from gastric bypass surgery? You may qualify for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. Please contact Anapol Schwartz, leaders in personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death lawsuits in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Tell us what happened to determine if we can help.