Gastric Bypass FAQs
Q: Who Is the Ideal Gastric Bypass Patient?
A: The gastric bypass is suitable for many patients with a BMI of 40 or over, or those with a BMI of 35 or over who have one or more obesity-related diseases. Patients with certain weight-related issues may find that gastric bypass is preferable to other bariatric surgeries. Those with severe or uncontrolled acid reflux or GERD as well as those with severe type-2 diabetes may be particularly suited to a bypass.
Q: What Results Can I Expect?
A: The gastric bypass has excellent weight loss and obesity-related disease improvement potential. Every patient experience will be different, however on average, patients may lose up to 80% of their excess body weight and improve or resolve a majority of their obesity-related diseases.
Q: Are All Bypasses Performed Laparoscopically?
A: We strive to perform all gastric bypass surgeries laparoscopically. If, however, the patient has too much scar tissue or fat accumulation in the surgical area, we may have to perform an open procedure. There is a small chance that a gastric bypass would need to be converted from laparoscopic to open mid-surgery for patient safety.
Q: How Long Is the Hospital Stay After a Gastric Bypass?
A: A typical, uneventful recovery from a laparoscopic gastric bypass will require a 2-3 night stay in the hospital. An open procedure may require an additional night or two.
Q: Is the Gastric Bypass Reversible?
A: Since no part of the stomach or intestine is removed from the body during surgery, the gastric bypass is technically reversible. However, the procedure to reverse the bypass is not only complicated but risky. There are many reasons why a patient may not be losing as much weight as expected and only a consultation with a qualified bariatric surgeon can start the process to correct it.
Q: Can You Revise a Gastric Bypass?
A: Yes, gastric bypass revisions are straightforward. The most common bypass revisions include adding a gastric band to the top of the stomach pouch, endoscopically shrinking the stomach, or tightening the stoma if they have stretched over time. Many revisions can be performed in an outpatient setting.
Q: The Gastric Bypass Seems Complicated, Are There Serious Risks?
A: Much like any surgery, the gastric bypass comes with inherent surgical risks and a few unique to the procedure itself. Thorough pre-operative testing is employed to assess your risk as a bypass patient. Many of the perioperative risks revolve around a patient’s poor general health. You will learn more at your consultation. With that being said, the risks of the bypass must be compared with the risks of living with obesity. The goal of bariatric surgery and lifestyle change is to improve your health for a longer, happier life.
Q: Will I Ever Be Able to Enjoy Food Again?
A: There is no doubt that the gastric bypass comes with the most dietary restrictions of any bariatric procedure we perform. However, we also preach moderation. We don’t expect you to eliminate every indulgence for the rest of your life. Rather, we assist you in developing healthy eating habits that walk the fine line between taste and calories.
Q: What if I Develop a Nutritional Deficiency?
A: Nutritional deficiencies are not common in patients who follow their post-surgical plan. While the risk of deficiency is higher than in the gastric band or sleeve, eating a balanced diet, taking supplements as prescribed, and attending all your post-op visits should keep nutritional problems at bay.
Q: I Understand That Diabetes Can Go Into Remission Within Weeks of a Gastric Bypass. Does That Mean I Can Consume Sugar Any Time I Want?
A: We have known that many patients with Type 2 Diabetes go into remission very early on after surgery and before they lose a significant amount of weight. Recent research has shed light on why. It has been postulated that gut bacteria in your body may rebalance themselves after a bypass, offering better insulin regulation. This is not a free pass, however. Consuming too much sugar will eventually lead to weight regain and a possible return to the diabetic condition. Further, consuming too much sugar can lead to dumping syndrome, a very uncomfortable condition caused by the rapid emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine. Always follow your post-op instructions carefully.
Q: Is It True That I Can’t Drink Soda?
A: Soda, especially for bypass patients, is a no-no. Not only do most sodas contain sugar or sugar substitutes that don’t offer any nutritional value, but the carbonation itself can be very uncomfortable and over time, stretch your stomach pouch, causing weight regain.
Q: Is the Gastric Bypass Right for Me?
A: We won’t know until you visit a bariatric surgeon of choice for your pre-op work-up and consultation.