The Gastric Bypass is a form of weight loss surgery suited to those that are clinically obese with significant amounts of weight to lose.  It is a more extensive surgical procedure than the Gastric Band procedure.

For the seriously obese, the benefits of the procedure are truly life-changing:

  • 75% of patients lose 75-80% of excess body weight, most in the first 2 years
  • Most type II diabetics will be cured<
  • Major improvements in risk factors for heart disease and cancer
  • 70-80% of patients with hypertension will be off medication
  • Cholesterol levels will fall
  • Major improvements in other weight-associated conditions, including sleep apnoea, asthma, joint pain, arthritis, reflux, fatigue, shortness of breath
  • Patients report less depression, improved self-esteem and confidence

There are 2 main types of Gastric Bypass procedure, both of which essentially reduce the size of the stomach pouch so that less food is absorbed.

1. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RGB)

With this procedure a small stomach pouch is created by stapling part of the stomach together or vertical banding. This limits how much food you can eat. Then, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the duodenum as well as the first portion of the jejunum. This is demonstrated below:

2. Biliopancreatic diversion Gastric Bypass (BPD)

In this more complicated version, portions of the stomach are removed and the small pouch that remains is connected directly to the final segment of the small intestine. This means that most of the small intestine (duodenum and jejunum) is bypassed, resulting in substantial reductions in calorie and nutrient absorption.

The surgery may be carried out as an “open” procedure, which would take up to 2 hours or as a “keyhole” procedure which could take twice as long, but would leave less scarring.

Gastric bypass procedures are carried out in a fully equipped bariatric surgery facility under general anaesthetic and you would normally expect to spend 2-3 nights in hospital before returning home.

For this reason, you should ensure the hospital of your choice has available a structured, long-term behavioural and lifestyle programme, with nutritional support, which you should join immediately after surgery.

The Hospital Group provide nutritional support with specialist dietitians. Our gastric bypass diet will help you to get the best results from your procedure.

How do I know if I’m suitable for gastric bypass surgery?

Usually patients most suitable to have a gastric bypass are those with a BMI in the range of 40 to 60+. However surgery is dependent upon a bariatric surgeon’s opinion. All of our weight-loss surgery patients have an in depth consultation to discuss the most relevant procedure for them,prior to surgery.

How long does gastric-bypass surgery take?

This depends on the patient, the surgeon and whether it is being done as an open or closed (keyhole) procedure. Open gastric bypass operations usually take 90-120 minutes, but laparoscopic bypasses may take up to twice as long to perform.

How long will I be in hospital?

For open operations, most patients are discharged on the third or fourth post-operative day. Patients who have the laparoscopic procedure can go home on the second or third post-operative day.

What are the benefits of gastric bypass surgery?

For the seriously obese, the benefits of the gastric bypass procedure very much outweigh the risks. In general:

  • 75% of patients are expected to lose 75 to 80% of their excess body weight, most of which is lost in the first two years following surgery.
  • Major improvements in risk factors for heart disease and cancer.
  • Around 70-80% of patients with hypertension will be off medication and cholesterol levels will fall.
  • Most type II diabetics will be cured.
  • There will be major improvements in a whole range of weight-associated conditions. These could include sleep apnoea, asthma, joint pain, arthritis, reflux, fatigue, shortness of breath.
  • Patients report less depression, improved self-esteem and confidence along with an overall increased sense of well-being.

What are the risks of gastric bypass surgery?

As with any surgery, there are operative and long-term complications and risks associated with gastric bypass, including:

  • Bleeding (haemorrhage).
  • Complications due to anaesthesia and medications.
  • Infections.
  • Pulmonary emboli (blood clots on the lung).
  • Deep vein thrombosis.
  • Dehiscence (wound breakdown).
  • Leaks from staple line.
  • Injury to the spleen.
  • Marginal ulcers.

However, in experienced hands the risks of the procedure nowadays are very small. Most published reports show that the overall mortality rate for gastric bypass surgery is less than 1%. It’s also important to note that not only does bypass result in reduced absorption of calories, it may also reduce absorption of important vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin B-12 and calcium. Deficiencies in these nutrients can lead to many problems. Iron deficiency causes anemia and weakness and deficiencies in calcium can cause osteoporosis. Lack of daily B-12 can lead to neurological problems. This is why patients undergoing gastric bypass are recommended to take a daily vitamin and mineral supplement. “Dumping syndrome,” in which the consumption of sugar causes abdominal cramping and diarrhoea, can also occur. Some people will also regain some weight in subsequent years.

Unlimited Aftercare & Dietitian Support

Whether you have a gastric band, bypass, sleeve or balloon, your weight loss procedure is only the start of your journey. All these procedures are tremendous tools for weight loss and you can lose dramatic amounts of body weight, but it’s not entirely effortless. You DO have to work with it and you DO need aftercare following obesity surgery.

That’s why Enhance Medical includes market-leading aftercare packages with all our obesity procedures. We ensure that you are supported every step of the way with dietary and exercise advice to help you get the best weight loss result for you.

We believe it’s the best aftercare support package available and it’s designed to help you get the best weight loss results.

Gastric Bypass Aftercare

Unlimited Gastric Bypass aftercare support package

  • Access to our specialist weight-loss support team which includes a bariatric surgeon, dietitians and nurses
  • 6 months surgical cover
  • Post-operative assessment
  • 24 hour emergency telephone helpline

Gastric bypass surgery is a big decision. You need to know you’re in safe hands and be very confident in your choice.

The first step of the process is to have a consultation with one of our experts. They will look at your medical history, listen very carefully to your requirements and give you honest, expert advice on which form of weight loss surgery is most suitable for you.

Your consultation will also include what to expect at the hospital, the procedure in detail and the recovery/healing process as well as aftercare and the all important gastric bypass dietary information.