Your surgeon makes a large cut on your abdomen and operates on your stomach and small intestines openly.
In both cases, the top of your stomach is cut (which constitutes 5% to 10% of it) making a small pouch. The cut part is then stapled or sewed. 120 centimeters of the small intestines, which is below the stomach, is cut and then connected to the new pouch. After eating, food flows from the small pouch to small intestines. The remaining part of the stomach produces digestive juices. The upper part of the small intestines, connected to the bigger part of the stomach, is reattached to the small intestines, helping the digestive juices reach food. 2 or 3 days after the surgery, you are discharged from the hospital.
What to do before a gastric bypass?
Consulting a surgeon long before your surgery helps you in gaining long-term success is the operation. They help you become aware of your surgery and explain new eating habits. Attending support groups is also helpful. Several weeks before the appointment, stop smoking; it decreases the risks of surgery. Under your doctor’s instructions, stop taking medication, especially those which hinders blood clotting process, medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), vitamin E, and warfarin. Have blood tests and other required pre-operative tests. The night before your surgery, neither eat nor drink anything. Make sure that you will have a safe transportation after the hospital time and appropriate post-operative cares.
What are gastric bypass recovery and post-operative cares?
24 hours after the surgery you are not permitted to drink. You are asked to walk and move slowly in the hospital. Within 4 to 6 weeks, you are fully recovered. It is important to be adherent to your diet. Some post-op instructions are listed below:
- For two days after the operation, eating is not permitted;
- For the first two weeks, liquids and soft foods (wholemeal soup, juices, stew, milk and other soft foods with rich nutrition) are recommended;
- Within the second two weeks, pureed foods are suggested;
- After 4 weeks, you are permitted to eat solid foods, like small slices of meat or chicken, fruits, and cooked vegetables;
- Within the first weeks, 6 meals are needed. Then, it is decreased to 4 and 3;
- Eat less. Only 30 grams of food is accepted by your stomach after the surgery, or else vomiting and nausea are inevitable;
- Eat and drink slowly. If you eat and drink fast and have a sweet tooth, dumping syndrome happens;
- Chew carefully. Food has to become like a pureed food before swallowing;
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day;
- Don’t drink while eating,
- Have nutrient and beneficial foods;
- Take supplements like multi-vitamin, multi-mineral, calcium, vitamin D, iron, and vitamin B2;
- Eat organic food;
- Take daily exercises;
- Avoid snacks;
What are common side effects and risks of gastric bypass?
There is no doubt that any kind of surgery has some side effects and complications. Gastric bypass, too, has some minor side effects which can be lessened by performing post-operative cares and adherence to diet and exercises. Possible risks of this procedure are blood clots in legs (preventable by using blood thinning drug); leakage in the connection area between the stomach and small intestines; dumping syndrome; difficulty in swallowing; diarrhea; indigestion; sagging skin; nausea; vomiting; bloating; sweating; allergic reaction to anesthesia; Stomal stenosis; infection; bowel obstruction and distension of the blind stomach;
Most of the complications can be prevented by following surgeon’s instructions. Constant visits help you avoid many of the mentioned complications.
Mini gastric bypass surgery
Mini gastric bypass surgery (MGBS) is a simpler and easier procedure, compared to the regular gastric bypass. In this surgery, a banana-shaped pouch is created and connected to the cut small intestines. In mini gastric bypass, a longer part of the small intestines is cut. So, loss of iron and vitamins is more likely in this surgery than in regular procedure. One of the possible complications is bile reflux which increases the possibility of gastric cancer. Marginal ulcer is a complication of mini gastric bypass while it does not happen in the traditional version