What is a Gastric Bypass?
Often viewed as the “gold standard” operation, a gastric bypass is the procedure that many patients opt for if:
- they have failed to get a good result from previous bariatric loss surgery
- they have bad diabetes or reflux
- they are wanting to maximise their chances of the greatest amount of weight loss for the greatest period
Gastric bypass surgery involves the stomach being bypassed so that food eaten goes into a small gastric pouch and then into the small bowel for digestion. The procedure is generally performed with keyhole surgery, leak rates and major complications are less than 0.5% in our hands. A gastric bypass is anatomically reversible.
How does Gastric Bypass surgery work?
Gastric Bypass surgery works by ‘bypassing’ the stomach so that food eaten goes into a small gastric pouch and then into the small bowel for digestion. Malabsorption of calories does not occur, rather the operation works by making it easy for patients to drastically cut down their food intake.
Weight loss from gastric bypass surgery is achieved through restriction of meal sizes due to marked appetite suppression and the small stomach size making it hard for people to eat large meals. A gastric bypass also results in taste changes and reduced desire to eat. Most patients have a sense of satiety sooner and less desire to eat sweet and high density carbohydrates.
This procedure has one of the longest track records of bariatric surgery, meaning that the benefits and the complication profiles are well established. It is one of the mainstream bariatric surgery procedures performed in Australia and is the most effective with respect to weight loss and anti-diabetic effect. A patient can expect to lose anywhere between 25 – 50% of their total body weight following surgery. The length of hospital stay is no different to other laparoscopic procedures (2 – 3 nights in hospital), even though the procedure is complex and what is considered major surgery, the recent advances in both technique and technology allow for a much better patient experience, compared to the previous open surgery era. The key issue relates to the lifelong commitment to nutritional monitoring and rapid access to good health care due to a life long risk of small bowel obstruction.Dr Gary Yee
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Upper GI Surgery is Australia’s longest running high-volume laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery centre. The procedure is generally performed with keyhole surgery, leak rates and major complications are less than 0.5% in our hands. The average hospital stay for a gastric bypass procedure is 2-3 days and the time off work is 2 weeks. This operation can also be performed robotically; to learn more about our robotic surgery options view our robotic surgery page.
Complications of gastric bypass surgery can include vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Malabsorption of iron, calcium and vitamin B12 and other substances may occur and need to be monitored and/or supplemented lifelong. Other complications can also include staple line leaks and bowel blockages.
If you are considering a gastric bypass as a potential bariatric surgery and would like more information please contact our clinic today and one of our expert team will be happy to discuss this further with you. You should also download (below) our Gastric Bypass Surgery Information document.