Am I a Good Candidate for Gastric Bypass?

People who are obese, as in those who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, are at increased risk for many serious health conditions, including:

These conditions all greatly decrease quality of life.

At The Bariatric Experts in Denton, Texas, Dr. Scott Stowers and his team provide solutions for severely overweight and obese patients, including gastric bypass surgery. Though this is a serious step to take, they believe that, for the right candidates, the procedure can be literally life-saving. Here’s what you need to know.

What is gastric bypass surgery?

Gastric bypass surgery, also referred to as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), is a type of weight loss (bariatric) surgery used to both restrict the amount of food a person can eat and limit nutrient — and calorie — absorption by the small intestine. It’s a procedure that requires complete commitment by the patient to make permanent lifestyle changes once it’s been done; they need to change the way they eat and exercise to maintain their results and to avoid potential health complications.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, gastric bypass is the "gold standard" of weight loss surgery. It’s a more complex operation than adjustable gastric banding or sleeve gastrectomy, but it’s associated with greater and more sustained weight loss — 60-80% excess weight loss long-term.

First, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch, capable of holding only about one ounce or 30 milliliters. Next, he divides the first portion of the small intestine (duodenum) and connects the bottom end to the new stomach pouch. He finishes the procedure by connecting the top portion of the divided small intestine further down so that stomach acids and digestive enzymes can mix with and digest food.

The gastric bypass works in three ways. First, the new stomach pouch is considerably smaller than the original, meaning it can only hold a limited amount of food and a limited amount of calories. Second, since the stomach doesn’t digest as much food, and since the segment of the small intestine that would normally absorb calories and nutrients is bypassed, the body can no longer absorb as many calories and nutrients. And third, rerouting the food stream changes the levels of gut hormones that promote a sense of fullness, suppress hunger, and reverse one mechanism by which obesity induces type 2 diabetes.

Who’s a good candidate for gastric bypass?

As the surgery requires a lifetime commitment on the patient’s part to radically alter their eating and exercising patterns,they must meet a number of different criteria to be considered a good candidate.

Medically, the person must have a:

In addition, they must not have any of the following conditions:

Since patients must commit to lifestyle changes post-surgery, even if they meet all the criteria above, they still have to undergo psychological and cognitive assessments that:

Post-surgery commitments

Following surgery, you must commit to:

You also need to go to all of your follow-up appointments with your surgeon and bariatric dietitian to monitor your progress and watch for any problems.

If you’re overweight or obese and dealing with weight-related health complications and decreased quality of life, gastric bypass surgery might be an effective treatment for you. Give The Bariatric Experts a call at 940-577-2090, or schedule a consultation with us online. We can help.

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