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Gastric bypass is the most commonly performed type of bariatric surgery. It is recommended to the patients with high BMI levels (over 40 BMI), when the diet and exercise haven't been able to provide the desired results and patient's weight is causing serious health issues.

Gastric bypass involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and connecting this pouch directly to the small intenstine. This reduces patient's available stomach volume thus the patient feel full quicker and also has a drastic reduction in their appetite. A portion of the small intestine is also bypassed during the procedure, which also reduces patient's calorie intake from the food they consume.


Gastric bypass, similar to sleeve gastrectomy, is a laparoscopic surgery performed under general anesthesia. Following the application of general anesthesia, surgeon either opens small key holes on the abdominal area or makes an incision on patient's navel to enter the abdominal cavity. Once inside, surgeon cuts across the top of the stomach, creating a small pouch that can only hold an ounce of food (normally, stomach can hold about 3 pints of food). Then the surgeon cuts the small intestine and sews part of it directly onto the small pouch. 


Patient will be required to follow a strict diet following the operation until their stomach is fully healed. As a result of the operation (and provided that they follow the surgeon's instructions and dietary recommendations), patient's can lose more than 70% of their body weight within the next 1-2 years. 


In addition to the weight loss, gastric bypass may improve or resolve the following conditions that are commonly related with being overweight:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Infertility


The aim of this article is to give you a general information about the surgical intervention in question. You need to make more research about possible complications and risks of this selected procedure in order to make an informed decision. Please note that complications occur more frequently with patients who are obese, smoke, and have a history or lung or other chronic underlying medical conditions.


Smokers are recognized to have a significantly higher risk of post operative wound healing problems with a subsequently higher potential of infection as well as operative and post operative bleeding. Patients should discontinue smoking for two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Although it helps to stop smoking before and after surgery, this does not completely eliminate the increased risks resulting from long­ term smoking. Smoking also has a long term adverse effect on the skin and ageing process.

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