Medical Information: What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gas by pass surgeries is a serious medical procedure that is designed to aid morbidly obese patients in losing weight and getting healthy.

In recent years, gastric bypass surgery has been both praised and criticized as a means of weight loss for obese individuals. Many experts feel that people are looking to this risky surgical procedure as an "easy way out." Others claim that gastric bypass is a wonderful medical achievement that will save many lives. Once a person undergoes this procedure, there are many potential complications, and there are also many lifestyle changes that need to be made. This is not a decision that should be entered into lightly; it requires careful introspection and research. You should also carefully investigate the doctor who you are considering for your surgery, and you should make sure that you have examined non-surgical weight-loss options before turning to a gastric bypass procedure.

Gastric bypass surgery is also known as "stomach stapling" or "stomach folding." These alternate names are actually a pretty good description of what a gastric bypass surgery entails. Literally, your stomach is going to be restructured so that it is smaller, and thus you will not be able to eat as much food, and you will inevitably lose weight much faster than you could without the surgery. To give you a visual image of what happens during the surgery, picture a balloon. If you fill a balloon with water, it will become completely full; however, if you were to tie a knot in the middle of the balloon, and then you tried to fill it with water, you would only be able to fill the half of the balloon that is not siphoned off by the knot you made. Before gastric bypass surgery, your stomach can hold about 4 cups, but after a gastric bypass surgery, your stomach can only hold about ½ cup at a time.

The "bypass" part of the term "gastric bypass" is there because during the surgery a connection to part of the small intestine is literally bypassed. Bypassing part of the small intestine will cause some of the calories that you intake not to be absorbed. This bypass is a double-edged sword though, because while it does prevent some calories from being absorbed, it also prevents the absorption of some nutrients. Gastric bypass patients have to make sure that they take vitamin supplements so that they do not suffer any vitamin or mineral deficits.

This is a procedure that should be undertaken only by the morbidly obese. If you are thinking about getting this procedure just because you haven't mustered up the motivation to eat right or go to the gym, then you need to reconsider your decision. In fact, in most cases, patients who are being considered for gastric bypass surgery are required to lose some weight before they can undergo the procedure. If someone has been living a lifestyle of gluttony and lethargy, they absolutely have to make a major lifestyle shift in order to be a candidate for gastric bypass. This procedure is not a medical miracle. After the procedure, a patient cannot continue to live in an unhealthy way, eating junky foods and never exercising. It is crucial that gastric bypass surgery patients understand that they have to eat much less food, make healthier food choices, and become physically active after the procedure.

For millions of morbidly obese people, gastric bypass surgeries have been life-changing. If someone who is morbidly obese is truly prepared for a total life change, with all its complications and stipulations, then this procedure can aid them greatly in achieving their ultimate goal: to lose weight and get healthy. Just make sure that you have done all your homework before you go to such drastic measures to lose weight. You should speak to as many experts as you can, and you should also speak to people who have had gastric bypass so that you can get some first-hand insights and advice.

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