Gastric bypass uses both a restrictive and a malabsorptive surgery technique. It restricts food intake and the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs. In addition to creating a small stomach pouch, the surgery changes the body’s normal digestive process. As a result, food bypasses a large part of the stomach and most of the small intestine.
Gastric bypass surgery can be performed through an open procedure or a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) procedure. Laparoscopic surgery is performed using small incisions – and usually means a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, small scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures. Most surgeons prefer the laparoscopic approach.
During a gastric bypass surgery procedure, the surgeon first creates a small stomach pouch and then attaches a section of the small intestine directly to the pouch. This allows food to bypass a portion of the small intestine, which absorbs calories and nutrients. Having a smaller stomach pouch causes you to feel full sooner and eat less food; bypassing a portion of the small intestine means your body absorbs fewer calories. Gastric bypass patients report an early sense of fullness and satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat.
A clinical review of weight loss surgery data showed that patients who had a weight loss surgical procedure experienced complete resolution or improvement of some of their obesity-related health problems (known as comorbid conditions), including Type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia [high lipid (fat) levels in the bloodstream], high blood pressure, and obstructive sleep apnea.
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