Gastric Bypass Surgery for Weight Loss
Why should I consider Gastric Bypass Surgery for weight loss?
Patients suffering from Severe or Morbid Obesity should consider surgery when diet and exercise regimens have been unsuccessful. It has been shown in multiple studies that patients with a BMI over 35 have difficulty successfully maintaining significant weight loss, with significant defined as losing 10% of ones total body weight.(30lb weight loss in a 300lb person) There is a prevailing theory called the “Set Point Theory” which is based on the premise that the brain has a “set point” as to the number of calories the body needs. In patients who are obese and begin to diet the caloric intake drops below this set point and the brain interprets that as starvation. The body then attempts to protect itself by increasing hunger making it difficult to maintain the diet necessary to lose weight. Surgery seems to “reset” that point at much fewer calories thereby controlling hunger and making it possible to maintain a diet long term.
What are the long term risks and benefits of weight loss surgery?
The benefits of weight loss surgery far outweigh the risks. Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine have compared patients with a BMI over 35 who have had surgery vs those who have not. The surgery group’s risk of early death decreased by 30-40%. Surgery has tremendous benefits in decreasing severity or even putting into remision diseases like Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Sleep Apnea, Arthritic Pain, GERD, and Urinary Incontinence. It has also been shown to decrease the risk of developing certain cancers such as Ovarian, Breast, Uterine and Colon Cancer. Additionally, in our practice, we have seen patients’ nutritional status improve after bariatric surgery.
What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
This type of operation is both”restrictive” and “malabsorptive”. It is “restrictive” in that it creates a small pouch out of the stomach, 1-2 ounces, which limits the amount of food a person can comfortably eat. It is “malabsorptive” because the stomach and first portion of the small intestine are bypassed and calories are not absorbed. So in a nutshell one eats less and absorbs fewer calories of the food they do eat. The operation is done laparoscpically through 5-6 small puncture wounds which limits post operative pain and hastens the recovery process.This procedure is currently the most common operation performed for weight loss in the United States. The weight loss is typically faster with this procedure when compared to the Lap-Band, but does require more rigorous vitamin supplementation and is not “adjustable” post surgery.
What can I expect after Gastric Bypass Surgery?
There is some discomfort immediately after surgery but it is much improved by the next day allowing most patients to go home comfortably. A strict dietary regimen will be explained in great detail by our nutritionist to be followed in the 2-4 weeks after surgery. This consists of a liquid diet for one week, pureed food for week 2, and then progressing to more solid foods over weeks 3-4. The weight loss is significant averaging 20-25lbs the first month and then 5-10lbs a month over the next several months. Fatigue can be an issue for some people and is best treated by increasing ones activity to overcome the effects of anesthesia and maintaining adequate nutrition with protein supplements.
Why should I chose Advanced Surgical Weight Loss?
We are the first comprehensive center in the state of Alabama offering the full complement of weight loss tools all in one place. We have on staff a full time nutritionist dedicated to the dietary needs of the bariatric surgery patient. We also have an exercise therapist to help design a program for each individual patient to help maintain muscle mass and combat fatigue after surgery. And finally we have a mental health specialist to discuss psychologic issues patients may experience that can act to hinder effective weight loss. These three specialists will be seen prior to surgery and are available as much as needed after surgery. Also at Advanced Surgical Weight Loss we have one of the largest experiences in the state and were the first in Birmingham to become a Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery. This demonstrates our commitment to you to provide the highest quality of care.
What is the next step to be considered for Gastric Bypass Surgery?
If you have tried dieting without success and are interested in an option with a proven record of success, come to a free seminar to learn more about surgical options for weight loss. At this seminar you will meet one of our surgeons as well as other members of our weight loss team. The medical, social and psychologic aspects of obesity will be discussed as will your surgical options. The intent is to give the patient sufficient knowledge to know if surgery is right for them, and if so, an understanding of the surgical options to pick which is right for you.