What is Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass?
There’s nothing more discouraging than feeling like you’ve run out of weight loss options. If you’ve tried it all, but seen no sustainable results, you should consider laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. Candidates for laparoscopic gastric bypasses must meet certain criteria including, but not limited to:
- Must be 18 or older
- BMI of 40+ or BMI of 35 with serious weight-related illness
- Restricts the amount of food that can be consumed
- Produces significant long-term weight loss (60 to 80 percent excess weight loss)
- Typical maintenance of >50 percent excess weight loss
- Recovery time may vary depending on the size of the incision.
- It is common to experience soreness in the days following surgery. Many hospitals will offer patient-controlled analgesia (PCA).
- Walking will help relieve any gas that may be causing discomfort.
- After being discharged from the hospital, be sure to follow any instructions given to you by your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is laparoscopic gastric bypass performed?
Gastric bypass is one of the most effective weight-loss surgeries available. It can be performed using a laparoscope, or small instrument that has a live feed video camera attached. This means that Dr. Balsama can perform the procedure using very small incisions and tools that can be inserted through them, reducing the need for an open incision. The procedure itself involves sectioning off the upper part of the stomach and rerouting food through a different part of your small intestines that bypasses the lower areas of the stomach that normally absorb food and nutrients. This technique limits your food intake and reduces the number of calories your stomach can absorb.
Is laparoscopic gastric bypass painful?
The procedure itself is performed under general anesthesia, so there’s no need to worry about pain during the procedure. Afterwards, you may feel some discomfort at your incision sites during the extent of your hospital stay. This can be managed by medications, so be sure to let your medical team know how you’re feeling so that they can take the appropriate steps. You might also experience some fullness or cramping in your abdomen because of the gasses used to inflate your abdomen during the procedure. Taking some time to walk and move around (without pushing yourself too hard) can help relieve this. When you go home after the procedure, you might be prescribed medications to manage any pain, or discomfort. You should take these according to instructions so that you can rest and recover comfortably.
What should I eat after laparoscopic gastric bypass?
Before your surgical procedure, you’ll be given explicit instructions for how to manage your diet after a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. However, it’s important to know what to expect since it can come with some abrupt lifestyle changes. One of the most important steps to take is to drink plenty of clear liquids (between meals only) to avoid dehydration. Additionally, it’s important in general to eat foods that are low in fats and sugar but high in vitamins, nutrients, and proteins. After a week or so of recovery, you’ll be allowed to graduate from clear liquids to full liquids. A serving size for full liquids should be about four to six tablespoons, and it’s highly important that you eat slowly and make sure all food is thoroughly chewed. Gradually, and with Dr. Balsama’s instruction, you can introduce soft and eventually hard foods into your new diet. The ideal eating schedule after this procedure includes four or five small meals eaten over the course of a day.
How much weight will I lose?
This can depend on many different factors like diet and how well you adhere to the instructions given by Dr. Balsama for your future eating habits. Most patients rapidly lose weight after laparoscopic gastric bypass (within the first year or so), although this can level off after one or two years. It’s also possible to regain some weight after a period of time due to your body’s ability to adjust to the procedure. Overall, you can expect weight loss of between 60 to 80 percent of excess weight. During a consultation, Dr. Balsama can give you the best idea of what to expect from your unique procedure and intended results.
What does an ideal patient for Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass surgery look like?
Anyone who has a BMI over 35 and has a weight-related illness such as Type II are an ideal patient for gastric bypass surgery. Additionally, those who have tried other weight loss procedures who still cannot achieve a healthy, stable weight may be a good candidate.
How long will I stay in the hospital after surgery?
Although laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery can reduce the recovery time needed in the hospital, patients will need to stay for at least 24 hours so hospital staff can monitor your recovery and respond to any complications.
What should I do to prepare for surgery?
Dr. Balsama will provide you with specific guidelines to follow in the lead-up to gastric bypass surgery, including diet, activity, and medications. In addition to these rules, it’s important to stay mentally healthy, and creating a support group of friends and family can help you prepare and recover from this procedure.
What are the risks that run with this procedure?
Although laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is considered safe when performed by an experienced bariatric surgeon like Dr. Balsama, risks for this major procedure include bleeding, infection, blood clots, breathing problems, and reactions to anesthesia.
Is it possible to not lose weight after surgery?
Because bariatric surgery is most effective when paired with adequate lifestyle changes, there is a chance for patients to not lose or regain weight lost due to the procedure. If you see your weight creeping back up, reach out to Dr. Balsama for additional help managing your weight loss.
How long should I expect to see my full results?
With the right lifestyle changes and support network, weight loss results from gastric bypass surgery can be lifelong.
Can I experience hair loss after surgery?
As two causes of temporary hair loss are invasive surgeries and sudden weight loss, it isn’t uncommon for gastric bypass patients to lose hair after surgery. However, this symptom is temporary, and your hair will regrow as you return to a normal, healthy lifestyle
After surgery, what should I expect?
After you are released from the hospital, you will be told to follow a strict diet plan as your body heals and adapts from the surgery. This includes limiting amounts and types of solid and liquid food for several weeks. You will start to experience sustained weight loss as your body settles into your new normal exercise routine and caloric intake.
Are there any risks I should be concerned about?
When gastric bypass surgery is done laparoscopically and performed by a qualified bariatric surgeon, risks such as infection, bleeding, or ulcers are minimal.
How do you sleep after surgery?
As in many major surgical procedures, you will need to sleep slightly elevated for a few weeks, and avoiding sleeping on your stomach. For many days after the procedure, you will likely need more sleep than normal, including napping, which is a normal part of the healing process.