What is Gastric Bypass?

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Laparoscopic surgery is surgery done through a small opening in the abdomen as opposed to a long incision in the skin and through the abdominal tissues. Advantages of this procedure are faster healing, less pain, less scaring, less exposure of body tissues to infection and reduced chances of bleeding. This procedure can result in the patient returning home the same day as the surgery. This procedure also requires toleration by the patient of having carbon dioxide pumped into the abdominal cavity to create a working area for the surgeon. Most patients are able to tolerate the carbon dioxide, which is excreted by the body. Recovery times are also reduced by using this technique.

Gastric reduction surgeries are often done using laparoscopic techniques. It depends on the patient and the type of gastric reduction chosen. A common type of gastric reduction surgery is the application of a adjustable gastric band that restricts the top portion of the stomach. This procedure is reversible at a later date, using the same laproscopic technique. The band does not cause any permanent change to the shape of the stomach. This procedure results in a weight loss of 25% to 40%.

The most common type of gastric reduction is the Roux-en-Y bypass, which is also able to be done using the laparoscopic technique. This procedure permanently changes the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. The stomach is divided and the upper portion is used to form a much smaller stomach which empties into the small intestine. The rest of the stomach is bypassed and does not fill up during meals. The resulting weight loss from this procedure varies from 40% to 80%.

Another less common technique is a sleeve gastrectomy, in which a large part of the stomach is removed and a new pouch formed. This is less invasive than the above technique, but also results in weight losses of 25% to 50%.

Other types of gastric reduction surgery require a large incision in the abdomen, exposing the patient to all of the risks of abdominal surgery. Depending on the condition of the patient, this could be the best choice for some patients. It is best if you select a surgeon who is very experienced in gastric reduction surgeries.


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