Gastric bypass surgery is only recommended when a correction of morbid obesity is to be done. The most common type of this form of surgery is Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. In this type of surgery, the food is allowed to bypass some part of the stomach and small intestine. This leaves some of the food undigested and reduces the caloric intake.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have laid down specific criteria for carrying out this surgery. It is recommended only for patients having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. Individuals having 35 or more BMI?s with related co morbid conditions are suggested to undergo this procedure. Hence, it is only suggested for individuals who are at least 100 pounds or 45 kg more than their ideal weight.
In the United States, it is the most frequently performed operation, carried out for weight loss and also quite popular. In the year 2005 itself, in the U.S, there were around 140,000 gastric bypass procedures carried out. The surgery has been performed for atleast 50 years now and hence, the surgeons are quite comfortable with the operation and are also aware of the risks invovled in the procedure.
In recent years, a technique called laproscopy has been used to gain entry to the abdomen. This technique is highly advantageous in comparison to the traditional methods. However, this technique requires lot of training and expertise to be able to perform the actual operation.
The operation involves the stomach to be cut into a small pouch. The rest of the stomach and first couple of feet of small intestine are bypassed. This reduces the size of the stomach.However, since the bypassed portion of the small intestine is adept at absorbing calcium and iron, the only complications associated with this procedure are anemia and osteoporosis. The patients have to take lifelong mineral supplementation for this.
The gastric bypass procedure (GBP) has been found to provide good long-term weight loss results and has also brought about definite improvements in the life of obese individuals.