Is your weight keeping you from enjoying the activities you once loved? Do you find that even daily tasks are becoming increasingly difficult? Obesity can severely impact your life, hindering your daily pursuits and causing serious health issues such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If you struggle with obesity and have unsuccessfully tried to manage your weight through diet and exercise, you may be a good candidate for gastric bypass, offered by Long Beach bariatric surgeon Dr. Joseph Naim. By limiting your food intake and the calories absorbed by your body, gastric bypass can help you lose weight with dramatic results. Contact us today to learn more.
When you eat, food normally travels down your intestine and into your stomach. From there, it enters into your small intestine, where your body absorbs most of its calories and nutrients. Food moves from the small intestine into the large intestine and is eventually expelled as waste. Gastric bypass greatly reduces the size of your stomach so that you eat less, and food travels more quickly to your small intestine.
The surgery involves two steps. In the first part of the procedure, Dr. Naim will make your stomach smaller, using staples to separate your stomach into a lower pouch and a smaller upper pouch. The upper pouch will be the part that holds food with a capacity of about one ounce. In the second step, Dr. Naim attaches the jejunum, a part of your small intestine, to the upper portion of your stomach. As a result, food reaches the small intestine much more quickly, and your body absorbs fewer calories.
While gastric bypass can be performed through open surgery, Dr. Joseph Naim prefers minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, using long, thin tubes attached to a camera and a computer monitor. The laparoscopes are inserted through tiny incisions in your abdomen, resulting in a faster and more comfortable recovery.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING RECOVERY
Though Dr. Naim performs laparoscopic surgery, you will still experience some discomfort for at least a week after your bypass surgery, and you should plan on spending three to five days in the hospital. You will also need to be extremely careful about what you eat and drink during those first weeks following your procedure. Because your digestive system has changed significantly, and food reaches your small intestine much more quickly, you may experience what is known as “dumping syndrome,” which could result in diarrhea, nausea, and shakiness. To avoid this effect, it is important to follow your doctor’s orders regarding your diet. For the first day or so following your surgery, you will be placed on a liquid diet, working your way up to a pureed diet. You will gradually begin to reintroduce solid foods into your system. It is vital that you chew thoroughly and eat small meals. Eating too much in those first days can stretch out the upper portion of your stomach, negating the effects of the procedure.
GASTRIC BYPASS: THE RESULTS
Like other forms of bariatric surgery, such as sleeve gastrectomy and LAP-BAND, gastric bypass is not a quick-fix procedure. To see true and lasting results following surgery, patients must make significant changes in their diet and activity level. However, for patients who are dedicated to these lifestyle changes, the results of bypass surgery can be quite dramatic. In fact, many patients lose 10 to 20 pounds a month in the year after the procedure, and the average gastric bypass recipient loses half of his or her body weight in the first two years. They may also experience significant improvement in obesity-related health conditions.
CANDIDATES FOR BYPASS SURGERY
To qualify for gastric bypass, you must:
- Be over age 18
- Have a BMI of 40 or above, or have a BMI between 35 and 40 with weight-related health conditions
- Have tried to lose weight through exercise and diet modification
- Be committed to making the necessary lifestyle changes