What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
What to Expect After Gastric Bypass Surgery continued...
Improvements in Health
Many obesity-related health problems improve or even disappear after gastric bypass surgery. The most common are diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and obstructive sleep apnea.
The decrease in absorption of nutrients may cause health problems after gastric bypass. The most common are anemia and osteoporosis, caused by poor absorption of iron and calcium. Taking supplements and getting blood tests can reduce the risk.
Even after gastric bypass surgery, losing weight requires motivation and changes in a person's behavior. Adapting to eating several small meals a day can be difficult for some people. Exercise is important to keep weight off.
Other Types of Weight Loss Surgery
Besides gastric bypass, other types of weight loss surgery are available. They include:
Adjustable Gastric Banding ("Lap Banding")
Gastric banding is the second most common weight loss surgery. It accounts for about 15%-20% of weight loss surgeries.
In adjustable gastric banding a surgeon places a silicone ring around the upper stomach. The ring's tightness can be adjusted by injecting saline through the skin to fill up the band or extracting saline to loosen it. This allows "fine-tuning" of the exact size of the stomach.
For example, if a too-tight stomach is causing side effects, the bands can be loosened. If weight loss is inadequate, tightening the bands can shrink the stomach.
Gastric banding is the least invasive form of weight loss surgery. If necessary, the procedure can often be completely 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
This type of surgery combines "stomach stapling" with gastric banding. Because of its higher complication rate and lower rates of weight loss, vertical banded gastroplasty is rarely performed today.
This surgery is similar to the roux-en-Y gastric bypass. In biliopancreatic diversion, though, surgeons reconnect the stomach pouch to a portion of the small intestine that's much further down (the ileum).
Since more of the small intestine is bypassed, even fewer calories can be absorbed. This surgery is difficult to perform, and often leads to nutritional problems. Biliopancreatic diversion only accounts for about 5% of all U.S. weight loss surgeries.