Gastric Bypass Surgery
This procedure consists of a restrictive surgery to reduce stomach size as well as create a small intestine derivation on the “new” smaller stomach in order to carry the food that is ingested further away. This derivation causes a moderate malabsorption, which in turn, reduces the quantity of nutrients absorbed and facilitates the weight-loss process. The restriction of the stomach itself controls the amount of food ingested, which will be less than prior to the procedure.
The operation therefore consists in cutting the stomach in order to create a small reservoir of approximately 30 to 40 cc. Following this, a portion of the small intestine is carried over and directly connected to this small reservoir. The length of this intestine portion varies according to the severity of the obesity in order to create more or less of a malabsorption effect. As there is a restriction in stomach volume, the majority of patients will therefore notice a reduction in the quantity of foods they can absorb. In general, patients do not need to take any dietary supplements, unless the length of the derivation needs to be longer for reasons related to weight.
Of course, this procedure is considered a major surgery, which lasts two to three hours. The patients are hospitalized a day prior or the morning of the operation, and once the procedure has been performed, a transfer to the intensive care unit might be required in order to monitor breathing.
Under the right circumstances, the operation is performed by robot-assisted laparoscopy, which is the first-line surgical choice. Should the laparoscopic route be impossible, then an “open” surgery will be undertaken, which will leave a scar located on the abdomen, above the navel. In this latter case, the hospital stay and recovery period will be of slightly longer duration.
During this procedure, we do not remove any fatty tissue located on the abdomen: we carry out only the surgical techniques necessary for this procedure.
As previously discussed, this procedure is not risk-free. The operative risk rate is between 10 and 15 %, and includes complications such as wound infections, pneumonias, and lower limb deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in leg). Peritonitis and deaths are rare, but are nonetheless complications that must be known. In some cases in the past, a second operation has also been necessary following such complications.
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