Gastric bypass surgery is a weight loss procedure that involves creating a small stomach pouch and rerouting the small intestine to the pouch. This surgical procedure reduces the amount of food a person can eat and limits the absorption of calories and nutrients from food, resulting in significant weight loss.
During the procedure, the surgeon first divides the stomach into two parts, creating a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower pouch. Then, the small intestine is cut and rerouted to connect to the new stomach pouch, bypassing the larger lower stomach and the first portion of the small intestine. This rerouting changes the way food is digested and absorbed in the body, leading to weight loss.
Gastric bypass surgery is typically performed laparoscopically, which involves making small incisions in the abdomen and using a camera and specialised surgical instruments to perform the procedure. This approach usually results in less pain and a faster recovery time than traditional open surgery, enabling a shorter hospital stay.
Gastric bypass surgery is considered a major surgical procedure and carries some risks, such as bleeding, infection, and blood clots. It is important for patients to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the surgery with their surgeon before making a decision.
Gastric bypass surgery is typically recommended for patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
How much weight will I lose following Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is a highly effective weight loss treatment, and the amount of weight loss varies depending on the individual patient. On average, patients can expect to lose about 60-80% of their excess body weight within the first 12-18 months after surgery.
For example, if a person is 100 pounds overweight, they can expect to lose about 60-80 pounds after gastric bypass surgery. The weight loss is typically most rapid in the first six months after surgery, and then gradually slows down over time.
The amount of weight loss can also depend on factors such as the patient’s starting weight, age, sex, and overall health. Patients who adhere to the recommended diet and exercise plan after surgery tend to have better long-term weight loss outcomes.
In addition to weight loss, gastric bypass surgery can also improve or resolve obesity-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. The surgery can also lead to improvements in quality of life and overall health.
Patients should discuss the potential risks and benefits of the surgery with their surgeon before making a decision. Additionally, patients need to commit to lifelong changes in diet and lifestyle to maintain their weight loss and overall health after the surgery.
How do I prepare for weight loss surgery?
Preparing for weight loss surgery requires both physical and emotional preparation. Here are some things you can do to prepare for weight loss surgery:
Follow the pre-surgery diet: Your surgeon will put you on a specific pre-surgery diet to help reduce the size of your liver, which makes surgery safer and easier. It is important to follow this diet strictly to ensure the best possible outcome.
Get in shape: We understand this isn’t easy but getting in the best shape you can before your surgery can help reduce risks of complications and aid in your recovery. Ask your Tonic team or surgeon for advice on safe exercise routines that will help you get fitter before surgery.
Team Tonic resources: Your weight loss surgery experts are available to advise and support you throughout your journey. Make the most of this support and advice. Raise any queries and request as much information as you need as you prepare. Their expertise provides valuable information about the surgery itself, what to expect during your recovery, and how to maintain your weight loss after surgery to achieve your goals.
Make lifestyle changes: Weight loss surgery is a tool, but it is not a magic solution. To achieve the best results, you will need to make permanent lifestyle changes. Start by incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine, such as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
Address emotional issues: Weight loss surgery can be emotionally challenging, and it is important to address any emotional issues you may have before surgery. Draw upon the resources offered by Tonic and use their support groups to ask questions, discuss any concerns and prepare emotionally for the changes ahead.
Follow your surgeon’s instructions: Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure the best possible outcome.
Recovery Time following a gastric bypass
Recovery after gastric bypass surgery typically involves a hospital stay of 1-2 nights, during which time patients are monitored for any complications. Once discharged, patients will need to follow their specific diet and exercise plan, as well as attend follow-up appointments with their surgeon and dietitian.
Here are some common aspects of recovery following gastric bypass surgery:
Pain management: Patients may experience some pain and discomfort after surgery, but pain medication will help you manage this. Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on how to manage your pain and when to start taking pain medication.
Follow-up appointments: Patients will need to attend follow-up appointments with their surgeon and dietitian to monitor their progress and make any necessary adjustments to their diet and exercise plan.
Diet and nutrition: Patients will need to follow a specific diet plan after surgery to allow the digestive system to heal and adjust. This typically involves a liquid diet for the first few weeks, followed by a gradual transition to solid foods. It is important to follow your diet plan carefully to prevent complications and ensure optimal weight loss.
Exercise: Patients will need to gradually increase their physical activity after surgery, starting with short walks and gradually building up to more strenuous exercise. Exercise is important for promoting weight loss, improving overall health, and preventing complications such as blood clots.
Emotional support: Recovery after gastric bypass surgery can be emotionally challenging, and it is important to have a strong support system in place. Consider joining Tonics support group or talking to your advisor regularly to help cope with the emotional challenges of your recovery.
Overall, recovery after gastric bypass surgery can take several weeks, depending on the individual patient. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully and to be patient with the recovery process.
Is gastric bypass surgery right for me?
The decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery is a personal one and should be made in close consultation with your healthcare team. Gastric bypass surgery may be right for you if you meet certain criteria, including:
BMI over 40 or BMI over 35 with obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea.
You have tried and failed to lose weight through diet and exercise.
You are committed to making permanent lifestyle changes, including changes to your diet and exercise routine.
You understand the risks and benefits of surgery and are prepared to make the necessary lifestyle changes to maintain your weight loss and overall health.
You do not have any medical conditions that would make surgery too risky.
Additionally, patients need to commit to lifelong changes in diet and lifestyle to maintain their weight loss and overall health following the surgery.
Your Tonic advisors can help you determine whether gastric bypass surgery is right for you based on your individual health status and weight loss goals.