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What You Gain and Lose from Gastric Bypass Surgery

Obesity is a serious health problem across the globe. That is why a number of methods, techniques, and technologies have been developed to help curb weight problems that usually lead to life-threatening diseases such as heart ailments and diabetes. One of the most popular weight loss strategies is gastric bypass surgery, a procedure that alters the digestive system (particularly the stomach) to restrain a persons food intake.

The results of the surgery are immediatea patient may lose 50 to 60 percent of his weight within two years following the surgery. With healthy lifestyle (including proper diet and regular exercise), one can expect weight loss in the long run after the surgery. Those who are overweight will experience easier mobility and better quality of life after undergoing weight loss surgery.

But theres more to this surgery than just weight loss. Aside from slashing off some figures from the weighing scale, the surgery also helps improve certain conditions that are often linked to obesity. These health problems include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood cholesterol, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Thus, people who have gone through weight loss surgery are less likely to develop cardiovascular problems than those who have not tried the procedure. Also, the surgery can lessen a patients possibility of death due to heart ailment, diabetes, or cancer.

Now for the not-so good news. Weight loss surgery is not for the faint of hearts. As with other kinds of surgeries, weight loss surgery leads to several complications. If you will go through this procedure, you need to know the risks before you head over the clinic or hospital. Being aware of what to expect after the surgery helps a lot in your recovery process. The most common complications of the surgery include infection, bleeding, and swelling. Other complications are ulcer, low blood sugar, kidney stones, gallstones, iron deficiency anemia, and vitamin D and B-12 deficiency. After the operation, a patient may also experience vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and dizziness especially when eating foods rich in sugar and fat. These are caused by a condition called dumping syndrome in which the contents of the stomach pass through the small intestine very fast.

There are certain postoperative risks that occur in rare cases but are severe and need immediate medical attention. The following are some of the complications and tips on how to deal with them.

1. Leak in the stomach

This is found at one of the staple lines in the stomach. The leak heals over time in most cases, though it can be treated using antibiotics. But severe cases require immediate surgery.

2. Thinning of the opening between the small intestine and stomach

This condition needs either a corrective surgery or a simple outpatient procedure wherein a tube is inserted through the mouth to make the opening wider.

3. Incision hernia or weakness in the incision

This complication happens if the surgery is an open procedure that involves a large incision on the abdomen. Incision hernia needs to be repaired through surgery depending on the severity of the condition.

4. Death

For every 200 to 300 weight loss surgeries, one case results in death. Although the risk of death has been linked to gastric bypass surgery, it still depends on many factors such as age and health and medical conditions.


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The Benefits Of Gastric Bypass

Gastric surgery is one of the most common weight-loss surgeries, in the United States alone about 140,000 procedures are conducted yearly. There are people who have undergone surgery would report about 60% of improvement in their body weight. There are others, who would report as much as 80% of weight loss.

The effects of the surgery would be most felt after a year, where most patients would report to be at their lowest weight. However, there could still be tendencies that the lost weight may be regained especially if the dietary and exercise recommendations are not followed. After all, reducing your food intake is not the only way to lose weight and maintain it.

Gastric bypass is a procedure done to address issues of severe obesity. There are associated conditions with obesity like diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea and the gastroesophageal reflux disease. There are about 80% of patients with hypertension will be off medication significant time after the surgery. The same goes for 90% of diabetic patients who will not be dependent on insulin.

It could even reduce the patients risk of having heart disease and cancer. Because of the weight loss, gastric bypass surgery could help a person improve mobility and flexibility. Gastric bypass surgery could lessen asthma attacks and reducing dependence to medication or inhaler. Arthritis, fatigue, joint pain and shortness of breath due to physical movements are also reduced by weight loss brought by surgery.

Being extremely overweight could have significant effect on the bladder and other organs of the body. They get too much pressure increasing stress incontinence. It could also cause hormonal problems which could lead to infertility. There are studies showing that after undergoing the bypass, 90% of infertility is restored.

Because of the weight-loss, there are patients who claimed that they increased their confidence and well-being is improved. There are studies showing that those who have undergone surgery would usually experience depression and anxiety. Counselling and support would help the individual to recover and the psychological effects could be lessened or could disappear.

The National Institute of Health, said that patients who have undergone bypass showed dramatic and sustained improvements in how they live their lives. They were able to go beyond the results of weight loss and improve their over-all life. They have higher self- esteem and higher energy levels after the surgery.

For example, gastric bypass surgeries that have been performed to obese teens were able to improve the quality of life within six months, some studies say. Aside from weight loss, their health improves and starts to become appropriate for their age. They were also able to socialize better and deal with peer pressure.

However, it is important to understand that aside from the numerous benefits you can get from gastric bypass surgeries, there are also risks just like any other medical intervention or surgery. Morbidly obese patients have higher risks in surgeries compared with those who are not morbidly obese. It is important to weigh our options before we proceed to any procedure.


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