Is gastric surgery a solution to overweight problems?

Nowadays, many people look forward to seeking weight loss treatment as they deal with overweight or obesity which increase the risk of health problems; such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, fatty liver disease, and possibly some types of cancer.

The UK is considered to have one of the highest rates when it comes to overweight problems with 67% of men and 57% women suffering from that problem.

There are many treatments for weight loss and they range from diet, exercise, behavioral modification, pharmacotherapy to surgery. All the options above but the latter, can offer a short-term solution and the loss of weight is basically limited.

Gastric surgery is thought to be one of the best way. Patients interested in this option need to know everything about the gastric bypass requirements.


Gastric surgery

This is a procedure in the field of the bariatric surgery which is designed to reduce the intake of food in people with overweight problems when losing weight by putting on diets and exercising have failed.

It is known as a restrictive procedure since it restricts the food intake, the calories and nutrients the body generally absorbs. This surgery carries a significant risk and side effects, for it requires changes in lifestyle.

Once the surgery takes place, the stomach gets smaller so people will feel full with less amount of food, which will no longer go to some parts of the stomach and small intestine in charge of breaking food.

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is one of the most popular surgeries and involves creating a stomach pouch by using staples out of a small portion of the top. Consequently, the bottom part of the stomach is no longer used and it is called the “Blind Stomach.”

What involves a Gastric Surgery

A gastric bypass decreases the stomach capacity as well as allows the passage of food into the jejunum, which is a small bowel joined to the new stomach pouch.

This induces gut hormones changes that lead to the increase of satiety (the feeling or state of being full) so it makes people stop feeling hungry all the time. Because of the changes produced by the surgery, patients have to fulfill all the gastric bypass surgery requirements.

Main steps in the procedure for a Bypass Surgery

There are two important steps that take place in the gastric surgery:

  • Make your stomach smaller: the surgeon will reduce the stomach by using staples. As a result, the food intake will be limited.
  • The bypass: The surgeon will connect the bypass to a section of the small intestine.

The Body Mass Index in the Gastric Bypass Surgery

Measuring overweight in patients is an important matter for Gastric Bypass Surgery. The BMI formula is used to measure the body fat related to other physical metrics and uses the person’s weight in kilograms, divided into the height in meters.

By using the BMI, surgeons can have an accurate determination of the amount of fat in the body. In adults, it is considered overweight when the BMI is over 25.

Based on the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, any person whose BMI is over 30 is considered obese. Individuals over 40 BMI are eligible for a gastric bypass surgery.

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Gastric Bypass Surgery Requirements

The requirements for a Gastric Surgery may include the following:

  • Health requirements: If the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the person is between 30 and 40, the health team will evaluate the patient so they can determine if the surgery can be done safely. In addition, they will evaluate possible weight-related problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and sever sleep apnea. Patients will be asked about eating habits, stress levels smoking, the consumption of alcohol and other factors. The patient will go through physical examination and discuss with the team the weight history as well as the past efforts to lose weight. Patients must be aware that if they suffer from blood clots, kidney stones, heart diseases or nutritional problems, the condition will worsen after the Gastric Bypass Surgery.
  • Psychological Bypass Surgery requirements: The Psychologists attached to the health team will determine if the patient is motivated enough to make a lifestyle change which is necessary in order to succeed this kind of surgery. If there is any underlying psychological issue, it will be treated after the surgery to increase the probabilities for success in patients.
  • Age requirements: This kind of surgery is mostly approved for individuals over 18 years. It is not recommended for children because of the changes in structure and metabolism that occur in people under the age of 18.

Benefits of the Surgery

This surgery can improve people’s life; both Physical and Psychological; but, in the decrease linked to the quantity of problems involving the health of the patient, overweight people are mostly prone to suffer. Through a Gastric Bypass Surgery, a person can cure some diseases that include:

  • Problems of glucose level in the blood known as Diabetes
  • Consistent high blood pressure
  • High levels of cholesterol.
  • Frequent breathing suspension of that occurs while sleeping.
  • Chronic headaches when sleeping. This is known as Apnea
  • Discoloration in ankles and legs.
  • Problems in bladder control
  • Fat increase in the liver cells.
  • Inflammation in the joints.

Projected weight loss after the surgery

The loss of weight will occur within half a year and the final weight of the person will settle in two years after the surgery. The patient who went through the surgery will eventually lose 60 or 70 % excess of weight. Some studies reveal the possibility of losing 80% of weight although some patients tend to gain weight after the initial loss of the weight. If the surgery is combined with nutritional and exercise plans, it is probable to keep away the weight in a long-term.

Possible complications

Complications may occur in up to 10 % of the patients; that is, 9 out of 10 patients will not experience complications. The survival rate is over 99.8 % and complications can always be avoided by having the right behavior and choices. Some of the complications include:

  • Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
  • Blood loss
  • Clots in the Blood
  • Bowel function changes: diarrhea or often the constipation after gastric bypass surgery
  • Obstruction in the Bowel
  • A syndrome known as Candy Cane
  • A syndrome known as Dumping
  • Lack of moisture
  • Stomach problems related to indigestion
  • Reflux in the Esophagus
  • Low level of sugar in the blood
  • Hernias
  • Lack of tolerance to some kinds of foods: With a changed stomach size or digestive system, there will be certain foods that you’ll need to avoid and certain diet habits you’ll need to maintain. See our Bariatric Diet section for details.
  • Kidney Diseases
  • Possible Leaks.
  • Felling nauseous
  • Nutritional insufficiency, particularly iron and calcium.
  • Organ injury while being in the surgery
  • Bordering Ulcer
  • Infection of wounds

To sum up, This Surgery is one of the most effective weight loss method which requires from the patient a good health and mental condition. It offers many benefits from appearance to the solution of common health problems related to overweight people. Finally, the procedure is almost 100 % safe as over 99.8 % and complications can always be avoided.

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