What is laparoscopic gastric bypass?
Laparoscopic gastric bypass is a weight loss procedure which helps patients who are significantly overweight, generally classified as obese.
The bypass procedures are generally minimally invasive as it involves laparoscopic surgery, also commonly known as keyhole surgery.
The procedure is used to reduce the size of the stomach by removing or stapling part of the organ and changes in the ability for the small bowel to absorb nutrients.
The bypass treatments restrict the amount of food that can be eaten, causing patients to lose weight.
Types of gastric bypass
Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB):
The traditional gastric bypass, although it is less common now due to risks such as dumping syndrome, low blood pressure and internal hernias. RYGB reduces the stomach size but does not remove any stomach.
The surgeon staples off part of the upper section of the stomach which reduces the amount of food which can be eaten. The remaining pouch is then connected to part of the small intestine, known as the Roux limb, forming a Y shape.
This reduces the number of calories absorbed; however, it also reduces the number of vitamins and minerals you absorb, meaning you may need supplements to compensate.
Loop Gastric Bypass:
Also known as Omega Loop, Single Anastomosis Gastric Bypass, One Anastomosis Gastric Bypass and Mini Gastric Bypass.
Involves making the stomach smaller, but not removing any stomach. There is one join from the stomach to the bowel. Risks of internal hernias are lower than the RYGB procedure, however there are still risks of an ulcer and reflux.
During this procedure, the surgeon divides the stomach to make a small pouch which only allows for small amounts of food to be taken at a time. This small pouch is joined up to a loop of bowel (called anastomosis). This means food passes from the small pouch directly into the small bowel. This surgery allows for food to bypass about 2m of bowel before absorption begins, meaning fewer calories can be absorbed.
This treatment is basically a sleeve gastrectomy, and at the same time or later, a bypass operation. This operation is different to the loop bypass, as SIPS SADI involves removing a portion of the stomach. The bypass in this operation is from the duodenum to small bowel, instead of the stomach to the small bowel.
This is a new operation thought to reduce ulcers and reflux risks, however, long-term risks are uncertain.
Which bypass is best for me?
Dr Stephen Watson is a Laparoscopic and General Surgeon who specialises in weight loss surgery. Dr Watson discusses the various options with patients to determine which one is best suited to each individual patient. Every patient is different, as everyone’s bodies are different, and it depends if you have had other surgeries in the past or other issues such as diabetes.
How to prepare
Dr Watson will go through how to prepare for bypass surgery and what not to do. For example, you should not take anti-inflammatory medications coming up to the operation from one week before. You must also not smoke one week before the surgery.
After treatment, you may feel fatigued and weak for 36-48 hours, and you must remain in hospital for between one to four days.
Your intake of food and drink will have to change, and you will have to take nutritional supplements ongoing.
During the first 14-21 days post treatment, you will only be able to consume soft foods and afterwards more solid foods can be introduced again. This is important as solid foods can cause stretches to the small pouch which has been created.
Don’t worry as Dr Watson will guide you through exactly how to take care after your surgery.
Risks of bypass
Gastric bypass surgery is generally safe; however, any surgical procedure carries some sort of risk. All surgeries can carry anaesthetic, bleeding and wound infection issues.
Gastric bypass surgery risks are uncommon, but can include:
- Staple line leak
- Inflammation or blocking of the opening to the stomach
- Thrombosis (the formation of a blood clot)
- Gallstone formation
- Nutritional deficiency
- Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)
Please note the following: Be aware that poor eating habits or certain exercise habits can cause changes in your stomach allowing you to eat more. If this becomes the case, gastric bypass surgery is not usually redone to compensate for poor habits.
Dr Watson has been a weight loss surgeon since 1999 and has performed thousands of surgeries on patients to help them lose weight. Most of the surgeries are laparoscopic. The weight loss team, along with Dr Watson, are driven to provide patients with excellent results and assistance within their weight loss journey.