During the gastric bypass procedure, the surgeon creates a smaller stomach pouch. This newly formed pouch is very small, at about one to two tablespoons in size. A Y-shaped section of the small intestine is then attached directly to the pouch, bypassing the remaining, larger portion of the stomach. Depending on how much of the small intestine is bypassed, more or less malabsorption occurs. The food now bypasses a significant part of the small intestine, which absorbs calories and nutrients. With the smaller stomach pouch, patients feel fuller sooner and thus consume less food. The small intestine bypass reduces the amount of calories absorbed by the body through the small intestine.
While every case varies, gastric bypass patients, on average, lose more than 60 percent of their excess weight.
Gastric bypass has several proven benefits, including:
Recovery times will vary. However, ideally, patients may expect to leave the hospital after two days and resume normal activity within three weeks.
Dumping syndrome, an unpleasant but not life-threatening condition, may occur if you consume high-fat or high-sugar foods. Patients will also have to take a daily multivitamin, calcium and possibly vitamin B12 and/or iron for the rest of their lives.
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