Considered the “gold standard” of weight loss surgery, gastric bypass is a surgical procedure that makes the stomach smaller and reroutes the intestines. Typically, people who receive this surgery may feel full sooner than those who do not. Gastric bypass has been performed for over 50 years and is the most common weight loss surgery. If you’re interested in gastric bypass, contact experienced bariatric surgeon Dr. Andrew Hargroder located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
There are two parts to the gastric bypass procedure:
Step 1: Making a small pouch in your stomach
Dr. Hargroder divides and sutures your stomach into two parts, a larger one and a smaller one that can only hold about one ounce of food.
Step 2: Bypass
Dr. Hargroder takes a part of your small intestine and connects it to the new, smaller stomach pouch.
With your smaller stomach, you simply can’t eat as much, and hunger is satisfied faster. Additionally, the rearranged intestines function so that your body absorbs fewer calories than before. And most importantly, the changes in the food stream causes your gut hormones to suppress hunger.
Usually, the entire procedure is done laparoscopically, meaning that it’s non-invasive. Dr. Hargroder performs the surgery through tiny incisions in your belly.
After surgery, typically you stay in the hospital for two or three days. You can usually get back to your normal activities within three to five weeks.
A clear liquid diet for the first day or so probably is recommended, and you should sip slowly. After you’re able to handle clear liquids, you move on to other liquids, such as skim milk. Then, after a few days of liquids, you can eat pureed foods, which continue for a few weeks until soft foods, followed by firmer foods after about eight weeks.
Dr. Hargroder and his nutritionist, Heather Dean, RD/LDN, are there to help you with your diet and make sure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need post-surgery.
On average, people who have gastric bypass lose 60% of their extra weight. For example, if you start at 350 pounds and are around 200 pounds overweight, you’d expect to lose about 120 pounds.
In general, gastric bypass is recommended for people with a BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35-40 combined with a serious health issue such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
Of course, gastric bypass isn’t your only option for weight loss procedures, so you should schedule a consultation with Dr. Hargroder to discuss what would be the right choice for you.