Jan 7, 2016

Important Facts About Gastric Bypass Surgery


By Pamela Graham

There are a number of surgical interventions for weight loss for New York City residents. Gastric bypass surgery describes the process of dividing the stomach into two parts and then reconnecting the two using the small intestine. A typical patient who qualifies for this kind of surgery are those suffering from serious weight issues, particularly those whose body mass index is beyond 40. Diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea are some of the co morbidities for which this procedure has been shown to be beneficial.

The purpose of a small upper pouch is to limit the amount of food that can be consumed. It is important to partition the stomach completely so as to ensure the two separate portions do not reunite in the course of healing as this will render the surgery meaningless. Laparoscopy is the most common and current technique used in the operation mainly because of minimal invasion.

Just like any other major surgery, this operation comes with its own complications. Some of the complications are related to abdominal operation while others are specific to gastric bypass procedures (GBP). These potential adverse effects are used to assess the risk of operation and mortality. The overall rate of complications is higher with open incisions than when laparoscopy is used.

One of the complications that may occur is infection. This usually results either from either the incisions made during the operation or because of release of bacteria from the intestines. Infections may be as a result of exposure to bacteria while in the hospital. Common examples include pneumonia and sepsis. This can be managed through use of antibiotics and being diligent in respiratory therapy.

Blood thinners are usually administered prior to the operation to reduce the chances of venous thromboembolism. Venous thromboembolism occurs when a clot travels via blood from its original location to other organs, particularly the lungs. Without prompt diagnosis and intervention, this complication is potentially fatal.

Other complications are general to abdominal surgeries and include hemorrhage, hernias and bowel obstruction. Hemorrhage may occur as a result of accidental cutting of blood vessels. Blood for transfusion should therefore be availed prior to the procedure, in case it is needed. The chance of a hernia occurring is markedly reduced when operation is done laparoscopically. Bowel obstruction may occur either due to hernia or adhesion bands formed due to scarring.

The complications notwithstanding, gastric bypass procedures come with a number of advantages. First, a weight loss of at least sixty percent is obtained. Secondly, as a result of losing the excess weight, related morbidities are reduced. In one research, it was shown that type two diabetes is relieved in over ninety percent of patients.

There are a number of downsides though. People who have undergone gastric bypass experience both emotional and physiologically changes. They may get depressed as a result of having to adjust their food intake. With low intake of food, they may end up with low energy levels and muscle weakness. Consequently, they are likely to face challenges in carrying out strenuous activities such as lifting heavy objects or even climbing stairs. Fortunately, these issues get resolved over time as food consumption gradually increases.

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