Gastric bypass surgery is an older operation method when compared to other obesity surgery practices. Therefore, it may be regarded as the most prevalent and practiced one among all bariatric surgeries. It is basically a food intake restrictive system and has a more crucial influence on gastrointestinal hormones. Gastric bypass surgery can be performed through a single long incision which is an open operation or through a series of small incisions called laparoscopic. Irrespective of the means through which the operation is done, the main goal is the same

The process consists of three steps:

  • Dividing the stomach into two separate pieces forming an upper stomach pouch and a lower pouch, which is the remnant pouch of stomach
  • Separating the small intestine into two sections.
  • Linking the lower portion of the small intestine to the newly created stomach pouch

In the first step of open gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is reduced to 30 milliliters. The surgeon forms a small pouch by parting the top of the abdomen from the rest of it using a stapling device. This means it is separated into two pieces. The newly created stomach pouch is considerably smaller and allows significantly smaller portions. It can hold only a very small amount of food which helps reducing the absorption of calories. In the following, the small intestine is also split up and linked to the new small stomach pouch. Food and liquids flow from the pouch into this part of the intestine, bypassing most of your stomach.  Additionally, as there is less digestion of food by the smaller stomach pouch. Also, there is still a part of the small intestine that would normally absorb calories as well as nutrients. However, food will no longer go through it and so there will be less absorption of calories and nutrients.

As stated above, the another way to perform the gastric bypass surgery is by using a tiny camera, also known as laparoscope. The camera is placed in your abdomen so that the surgeon could see inside your stomach. In the first step of laparoscopy, 4 to 6 small incisions is made in your belly. After that, a tiny camera is inserted through these cuts allowing the surgeon to see inside your stomach during the operation.

In comparison to open surgery, it is possible to say that laparoscopic surgery is more advantageous in that it promises a pretty much quicker recovery, you feel less pain and the duration of the surgery is shorter.

Advantages of Gastric Bypass

  • The surgery provides a significant amount of long term weight loss. By year one, gastric bypass patients lose approximately 34 percent of their total body weight and by year three, the rate becomes approximately 31.5 percent
  • The surgery limits the amount of food your stomach can hold
  • The surgery generates favorable alterations in gut hormones that help you feel fuller and contribute to appetite suppression enhancing satiety.
  • The surgery lower the risks of having weight related health problems.

Disadvantages of Gastric Bypass

  • It is a major and complex operation that could result in various complications. However, those could be avoided with proper care.
  • The patients need to take some kind of supplementaries for the rest of their life because gastric bypass surgery may lead to long-term vitamin and mineral deficiencies particularly deficits in vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and folate.

After the surgery, you must adhere to dietary instructions, control your portion sizes, and do exercise. If you do not follow up compliances, you may encounter some complications and poor, unhealthy weight loss.

In conclusion, gastric bypass is an operation that helps you lose a considerable amount of weight by limiting the amount of food your stomach can hold and altering gastrointestinal hormones. There may be some complications associated with the operation. However, most of them could be prevented with proper care. As with all the operations, the best results are to be obtained with the combination of a healthy lifestyle.