Gastric bypass surgery, also known as “Roux-en-Y” in French, is a medical procedure used to promote weight loss and alter metabolism. This surgery involves modifying the structure of your digestive tract to reduce calorie intake and absorption. It affects both the stomach and the small intestine.
The name “Roux-en-Y” derives from the way this surgery reshapes your digestive tract. During the procedure, your stomach and small intestine are divided, and these sections are then joined to create a “Y” shape.
Initially, the functional part of your stomach is reduced to a small pouch, which is separated from the rest using surgical staples. This limits the amount of food that can be accommodated in your stomach. Subsequently, a lower part of your small intestine is connected to this newly formed stomach pouch.
As a result, food now bypasses most of your stomach and the initial section of your small intestine as it travels through your digestive system. Due to this bypass, your digestive system cannot fully absorb all the nutrients and calories from your diet.
During the first year or two following surgery, weight loss is frequently substantial. Approximately 70% of the excess weight is average. Over the course of 20 years, most individuals who have undergone weight loss efforts tend to maintain a consistent long-term reduction in weight, typically achieving a 50% reduction in their excess weight. Although some individuals may experience fluctuations and regain some weight over time, this average reduction remains relatively stable.
During the first year or two following surgery, weight loss is frequently substantial. Approximately 70% of the excess weight is average. While some people regain some of their weight over time, the average long-term weight reduction is 50% of the excess weight. The figure remains constant for 20 years.
For patients with clinically severe obesity, gastric bypass surgery is advised, just as other bariatric surgery procedures. Numerous obesity-related medical conditions, including as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, and GERD (chronic acid reflux disease), have been demonstrated to improve with its treatment.
If you are medically obesity, weight loss alone can have a significant impact on your health. However, gastric bypass surgery accomplishes more. It modifies your metabolic system in a long-lasting way to help you control your blood pressure, blood sugar, and hunger.
Following gastric bypass surgery, the following conditions improve:
Short-term risks associated with gastric bypass surgery are similar to those of many other procedures, and they include:
Following gastric bypass surgery, potential complications may include:
Certain digestive issues can result from surgeries that alter your digestive system. Among them are:
The eligibility criteria for gastric bypass surgery are similar to those for other bariatric procedures. It is essential that a qualified medical professional recommends surgery for you. In general, you may be considered a candidate for gastric bypass surgery if:
In the event that you meet these requirements, surgery can be suggested. However, there will be further needs for your surgeon. You will have screening and counseling sessions with a group of medical professionals prior to the procedure. They’ll be curious about:
Every laparoscopic procedure starts with a single abdominal “keyhole incision.” Your abdominal cavity will be inflated with carbon dioxide gas by your surgeon using this keyhole. This helps to make everything more visible by separating your abdominal wall from your organs.
Then, via the keyhole, your surgeon will insert a tiny, illuminated video camera called a laparoscope to view your organs. A computer screen will be projected via the laparoscope. To access your organs, your surgeon will make more keyhole incisions.
Using a surgical stapler, the upper part of your stomach is separated from the lower part as the initial stage in the Roux-en-Y treatment. The resultant pouch has an approximate egg-sized size. Your small intestine is still connected to the remaining portion of your stomach.
The next procedure is to divide your small intestine in several feet down its length, raising the lower portion to join your newly created stomach pouch. From your stomach pouch, your food will now travel via this section of your lower small intestine.
Reattaching your small intestine’s upper branch to the trunk lower down is the last step. Two branches of your small intestine are now joined to the trunk: one originates from your stomach pouch, and the other from the remaining portion of your stomach.
The new branch, via which your food will travel, is located on the right side of this “Y.” Your small intestine’s original upper portion, or duodenum, is on the left side. This is the segment where the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas release their digestive juices. These juices will be transported via the left branch to your small intestine’s new trunk, where they will combine with meals. This will allow you to absorb less nutrients from your food due to your shortened intestinal tract, but it will still allow you to digest it adequately.
The actual treatment takes two to four hours to complete. You will most likely stay in the hospital for two days after that. Solid foods won’t be available to you quite yet.
You might only be able to eat liquids right after gastric bypass surgery while your intestines and stomach recover. After that, you’ll adhere to a unique nutrition plan that gradually transitions from liquids to pureed meals. After that, you can start with soft foods and work your way up to stiffer ones as your body can handle them.
After undergoing weight-loss surgery, you may encounter several dietary restrictions and limitations regarding your food and beverage intake. Your doctor will advise you to incorporate vitamin and mineral supplements into your daily routine, including a multivitamin containing iron, calcium, and vitamin B-12.
Additionally, during the initial months following the surgery, you will undergo regular medical checkups to monitor your overall health. These checkups may involve laboratory tests, blood work, and various examinations.
After the surgery, you can expect to spend approximately one day in the hospital for recovery, followed by a few weeks of recuperation at home before you feel prepared to return to work. It is advisable to avoid strenuous activities for up to six weeks, and it could take as long as twelve weeks to resume your normal dietary habits.
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