Gastric bypass surgery involves two steps. First, your physician reduces the size of your stomach, using a specialized stapler to partition your stomach, creating a separate small pouch in the upper part of the stomach while leaving the rest of your stomach intact.
In the second step, your physician bypasses a portion of your small intestine. They divide the small intestine and brings the lower end up, attaching it to the new stomach pouch. Then the upper part of the intestine is connected to the lower portion, which allows digestive enzymes to mix with food.
The small size of your stomach limits the amount of food you can consume. This is “restriction,” and as a result, your calorie intake drops, helping you lose weight.
Additionally, much of digestion and food absorption occurs in the upper part of your small intestine. When it’s bypassed, you absorb fewer calories from the food consumed (this is malabsorption).
This malabsorptive effect is particularly strong for high sugar and high fat calories that can often result in the “dumping syndrome,” an unpleasant sensation if someone ingests high sugar calories after a gastric bypass.
Finally, rerouting the small intestine and bypassing the majority of the stomach leads to metabolic change, leading to alterations in hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism, so you’re less likely to feel hungry and you feel full longer.
Additionally, these changes also alter hormones that regulate glucose/sugar levels, often resulting in immediate improvements in patients with type 2 diabetes that are independent of weight loss.
Gastric bypass surgery leads to significant weight loss, but it’s more complex than other types of gastric surgery, so it’s not always suitable for everyone.
To determine if you’re a good candidate, your doctor thoroughly evaluates your overall health and discusses the lifestyle recommendations you’ll need to follow after surgery.
You’ll also need to meet weight requirements. A gastric bypass is a viable option if you have:
Many people achieve significant results with gastric bypass. On average, patients lose 60-80% of their excess weight within about 18-24 months. The results depend on individual factors like your age, sex, pre-surgery weight and whether you strictly follow the recommended diet and exercise plan after surgery.
Type 2 diabetes goes into remission in about 80% of patients who have a gastric bypass. In some cases, diabetes may improve before you begin to experience significant weight loss.
Gastric bypass also relieves or eliminates other chronic diseases caused by obesity, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux, and obstructive sleep apnea.
If you want to learn more about gastric sleeve surgery, bariatric surgery, and our comprehensive weight loss programs, we strongly recommend signing up for one of our free informational seminars at either Elmhurst Memorial Hospital or Macneal Hospital. Our surgeons will give an overview of obesity, go into detail about the indications and types of surgeries we offer, and take time to answer any questions you may have.
If you have further questions, you can speak with Anna or Erica, our bariatric coordinators, by calling one of the location numbers below.
Click here to read Dr. Choh’s article on the Healthy Driven Chicago website.
Please contact both your Plan and the physician’s office for participation as this may vary at any time.