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What to Expect After Gastric Bypass

Post-surgery weight loss is often dramatic. On average, patients lose 60% of their extra weight. For example, a 350-pound person who is 200 pounds overweight would drop about 120 pounds.

Many weight-related health problems improve or even disappear after gastric bypass surgery. The most common are diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and obstructive sleep apnea.

But losing weight and keeping it off takes lasting lifestyle changes, like eating several small meals a day and getting regular exercise.

Other Types of Weight Loss Surgery

If you’re considering weight-loss surgery, gastric bypass isn’t your only option. Others include:

  • Adjustable gastric banding(also called laparascopic gastric banding, or lap band surgery) is the least invasive and second most common weight loss surgery. It accounts for about 15%-20% of procedures. In gastric banding, a surgeon places a silicone ring around the upper stomach.

The surgeon can adjust the ring's tightness by injecting saline through the skin to fill up the band or extracting saline to loosen it. This fine-tunes the exact size of the stomach. For example, if a too-tight stomach is causing side effects, the bands can be loosened. Tightening the bands can shrink the stomach.

If necessary, the procedure can often be reversed. Gastric banding is also less likely to cause nutritional problems. It usually results in less weight loss than gastric bypass surgery.

  • Vertical banded gastroplasty combines stomach stapling with gastric banding. Because of its higher complication rate and lower rates of weight loss, it’s rarely done.
  • Biliopancreatic diversion is similar to the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, except the surgeon reconnects the stomach pouch to a portion of the small intestine that's much farther down (the ileum). Since more of the small intestine is bypassed, you absorb even fewer calories. This surgery is difficult to do and often leads to nutritional problems. This procedure accounts for only about 5% of all U.S. weight loss surgeries.

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