Gastric Bypass Surgery

This article will discuss the process of Gastric Bypass Surgery, requirements, the pros, cons and the stories of those who have undergone the surgery.

You may know that the gastric bypass is a form of surgery used for weight loss and management but do you know how exactly how it works and whether it is something you should consider out of all the weight management options in circulation?

By the end of this article, you will be well positioned to make an informed decision.

Who should have Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Bypass surgery is a method of helping obese people to shed excess amounts of weight. The surgery is more complex then say for example, gastric banding and therefore subject to its fair share of potential complications.

Gastric Bypass is not just another alternative weight loss method; particularly with the degree of surgery and the post operative care, this should only be considered as a last resort after other natural weight loss options have been exhausted.

A considerable effort to lose weight through diet, exercise and programs should have been sought before resorting to surgery.


Because Gastric Bypass is a form of surgery with risks and post operative care to consider (lifetime considerations), there are general requirements which may be expected to be met

Candidates will have to fall within a certain BMI (Body Mass Index)

Weight related disease, especially those that are life threatening, increase the likelihood of a candidates suitability

  • Candidate must be overweight or obese for a certain number of years
  • Must be 18 years and over
  • Not suffer from serious psychological disorders
  • Not struggling with alcohol addiction

This list of requirements is just a rough guide; an in-depth consultation should be undertaken between the patient and the practitioner when considering a lap band.

How Gastric Bypass Works?

  1. The procedure results in the creation of a smaller stomach\pouch for food to enter during eating. This is achieved by cutting and stapling the upper part of the stomach to create this upper pouch.
    > This may involve either a large cut into the abdomen or a smaller cut utilizing keyhole surgery
  2. A tube from this small stomach\pouch is connected to the lower part of the intestine so that the rest of the stomach and earlier parts of the intestine are bypassed (hence the name, gastric bypass!)
  3. The rest of the stomach still has the upper part of the small intestine attached. This small intestine is secured to the lower part of the intestine so that digestive juices from the stomach drain and combine here with the food.

In carrying out this procedure, a few things result:

  • Feelings of fullness during eating will occur faster
  • Less calories will be consumed from eating less food
  • Less calories are absorbed during the digestion process which has been shortened


Gastric Bypass surgery is expected to cost at least $20,000 but there are additional expenses that must be taken into account.

  • Psychologist fees
  • Nutritionist expert
  • Anaesthesia
  • Hospital and other medical costs

Insurance coverage of part of gastric surgery may be available provided requirements are met. Check with your insurance company but as a rough guide, you can expect to need to prove that the surgery is necessary, which will involve material requests from you, doctor and the gastric bypass surgeon.

Part Medicare coverage is possible with the requirements most likely to include an obese related condition.

Results and Success Rate

The results of a gastric bypass are generally very good, particularly in the first 12 months. Weight loss occurs quite quickly with common amounts of 33% of excess weight loss reported. This means a percentage of the weight required to be at a healthy weight.

Many other gastric bypass stories are more extreme with weight loss of up to %80 of excess weight occurring.

The bypass is also attributed as a significant improvement of obesity related conditions such as diabetes.

After Gastric Bypass Surgery

The gastric bypass is not a snip, tuck and the weight is gone. There are to be some major changes in the way one eats and some likely side effects to contend with.

Gastric Bypass Diet

  • The stomach will be significantly smaller
  • Portions of food will be much smaller and have to be chewed properly for the new smaller stomach. This creates a new, healthier habit of eating.
  • The ability for your digestion system to cope with unhealthy foods will be greatly reduced and side effects may occur as unhealthy food such as sugars travel through the intestine much faster.
  • Because the part of digestion where much of our vitamins are absorbed is bypassed, Vitamins and supplements will most likely be needed to be taken for the rest of the patients life

Risks and Side Effects

  • Sometimes, staples used in surgery may come lose
  • There is the risk of infection
  • Many patients develop Anaemia after a gastric bypass from iron deficiency
  • The formation of gallstones after surgery are common

It’s extremely important to discuss in great detail your concerns with your gastric bypass surgeon before surgery. Follow up appointments with medical, psychological and nutritional professionals will be required after surgery.

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