This operation consists in the resection of 50 to 60% of the stomach. This resection aims to reduce stomach acidity as opposed to prevent people from eating. Following the operation, despite the fact that this is not a restrictive-type of surgery, patients will feel that their capacity to eat has diminished. However, they will still be able to eat adequately and in a normal fashion. Following the restriction, a derivation of the bile and pancreatic secretions is created, which causes a malabsorption. This malabsorption leads to the defecation of semi-liquid and malodorous stools, on average three to four times daily, and are the result of poorly digested food. As patients eliminate some foods too rapidly, many minerals are poorly absorbed such as iron, calcium, as well as vitamins A and D. For this reason, patients will require to take daily vitamin supplements for the rest of their lives.
This operation is considered a major surgery, which lasts four to five hours. Following the surgery, some patients are transferred to the intensive care unit for close monitoring of their breathing. The incision is performed on the abdomen, above the navel. 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 operation is not risk-free, as all obese individuals undergoing a surgery are at risk of operative complications. The most frequent complications include wound infections, pneumonias, as well as lower limb deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in leg). Peritonitis and death are rare events. Postoperative complications may require another surgical procedure.
If the circumstances are favorable, this operation can be performed by laparoscopy. This approach is associated with a shorter hospital stay and recovery period.
Finally, the estimated weight loss is approximately 70% of the excess weight carried by the patient. This weight loss will occur within six to twelve months, and for up to 18 months following the surgical procedure. It is normal to feel more fatigued during the first three months, as the patient’s calorie intake will be insufficient to carry the excess weight. This fatigue will diminish progressively as the weight loss will become more significant. Most certainly, patients will receive regular follow-up care and clinical assessments to ensure that hepatic and calcium levels are within the normal range. The overall success rate is 85%.
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