Bariatric Surgery Information Lap Band, Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric Bypass Surgery and LAP BAND are common types of weight loss surgery for the treatment of obesity. Both types involve gastric banding, which reduces stomach size to limit hunger. This article is about gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery is a type of weight loss surgery used to treat patients who are more than 100 pounds overweight or who have a BMI in excess of 40. Both procedures use gastric banding, which reduces the size of the stomach. Gastric bypass surgery was introduced over 35 years ago. Approximately half of gastric bypass surgical procedures are performed through open surgery, which requires a long incision in the abdomen. The other half are performed using laparoscopic surgery, like LAP BAND.
Gastric bypass surgeons use a stapling device that cuts and separates a small area of the stomach (known as the "pouch") from the rest of the stomach. The pouch becomes the new stomach and the rest is closed off on permanently. Depending on the procedure, the pouch is then connected either to the middle of the small intestine (jejunum), "bypassing" the upper portion (duodenum), or further down at the distal ileum. This bypass allows the newly-created, smaller stomach to pass food further downstream and so that the digestive juices from the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are included in the digestion process. In a final step, the bariatric surgeon may connect the jejunum to the duodenum so that its digestive juices can contribute as well.
By bypassing sections of the stomach and small intestine, gastric bypass surgery has the effect of reducing hunger and, unlike LAP Band surgery, lessening the absorption of nutrients and calories. This combination of effects contributes to the weight loss that occurs after surgery. The resulting weight loss subsequently leads to an improvement in the patients' overall health. Once the patients' cholesterol and blood glucose levels reach healthy levels, they might be allowed to discontinue taking certain medications, such as Plavix and Avandia. Not using these drugs has the positive "side effect" of eliminating most of the harmful side effects of Avandia and Plavix. For example, patients who stop taking Avandia can also stop worrying about becoming one of the strokes or heart attacks Avandia victims.
Two Gastric Bypass Procedures: Roux-en-Y and Biliopancreatic Diversion
There are two main versions of gastric bypass surgery: Roux-en-Y and Biliopancreatic Diversion. Rou-en-Y gastric bypass surgery comes in two forms: the original procedure, which is performed via a long incision in the abdomen, and laparoscopic, which uses a camera (laparoscope) so that smaller incisions can be made. In the Biliopancreatic Diversion procedure, the surgeon attaches the pouch to a section of intestine that is located further down the digestive tract, thereby severely restricting absorption of nutrients and calories. Biliopancreatic Diversion is a very complicated procedure that can lead to serious complications in some cases. As result, this procedure is rarely used in the U.S. In contrast, in Rou-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, the newly-formed pouch is connected to the middle of the small intestine (jejunum), which allows nutrients and calories to be absorbed.
Potential Complications of the Gastric Bypass Surgery Procedure
Gastric bypass is a major surgical procedure with a risk of serious complications or even death (The mortality rate is approximately 1%.) It causes significant changes in the digestive tract and is essentially irreversible.
Recovery from Gastric Bypass Surgery
After surgery, most patients remain in the hospital for one to three days, depending on outcome and the procedure performed. Several weeks of additional, at-home recovery are also necessary. Because gastric bypass surgery causes abdominal swelling, most patients feel very sore in the initial days following the procedure. Gastric bypass surgery also leaves a scar. The scars for LAP Band surgery are typically less noticeable than with gastric bypass.
Most surgeons who perform gastric bypass surgery, LAP BAND, or other types of weight loss surgery give their patients a dietary plan following surgery. Patients are also instructed to exercise consistently.
The cost of bariatric surgery is one of the largest factors potential patients need to consider before undergoing weight loss surgery. Even though there are some weight loss surgery insurance options available, a large majority of patients will have to pay some out-of-pocket costs.
The high Lap Band cost is one of the leading reasons patients do not undergo this potentially life-saving procedure. For some patients their insurance company will provide Lap Band insurance options to help alleviate some of the financial stress associated with bariatric surgery. Patients who will be undergoing gastric bypass also need to be aware of the substantial gastric bypass cost and if their provider offers some sort of gastric bypass insurance options.
Other Surgery Options
To find qualified bariatric surgeons, visit Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery, where we have surgeons listed in Atlanta, New York City, Dallas, Los Angeles, Northern New Jersey, San Francisco, Seattle, and other locations throughout the United States.
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