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Gastric bypass surgery is the type of the surgical procedure usually performed on obese patients in order to lose weight. This surgery changes the anatomy of the patients’ stomach, creating a smaller stomach pouch and bypasses the small intestine. This way, the patient is forced to restrict the intake of food and, additionally, his/her small intestine absorbs less nutrient and therefore less calories from the food eaten. Most of the people who had the gastric bypass surgery lost 2/3 of the excess weight over the period of two years after the surgical procedure. There are two different types of the gastric bypass surgery, based on the procedure used to create the small stomach pouch. There is RGB (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) and extensive (or biliopancreatic diversion) gastric bypass.

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This type of gastric bypass surgery might be performed as laparoscopic or as the open surgery. The difference is in the incisions made on the abdominal cavity. Open gastric surgery requires general anesthesia and large incisions, while laparoscopic surgery is done through small incisions and guided with the camera and video screen. Laparoscopic surgery is the better option for most patients, since there are fewer risks of complications and the recovery time is much shorter than for the open gastric bypass surgery. The surgeon will create small stomach pouch and connect it with Y shaped small intestine. The lower part of the stomach is bypassed and the food the person takes goes directly to the jejunum.

Extensive Gastric Bypass

Because of the complicated procedure, this type of gastric bypass surgery is not very common. The surgeon will remove the lower part of the stomach and connect the created pouch with the most distant part of the small intestine, bypassing both duodenum and jejunum. Patients are guaranteed to lose the weight after this surgery, but is can also cause many severe nutritional deficiencies and lead to anemia, metabolic bone disease or osteoporosis.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Patients may experience many complications after the gastric bypass surgery, including: pouch stretching, breakdown of the staple line or band erosion. “Dumping syndrome”, characterized by nausea, weakness, sweating and sometimes even after meal diarrhea is also a possibility after the gastric bypass surgery, as well as gallstones. Some may also have problems with the leakage of the stomach contents in the abdominal cavity or with the nutritional deficiencies and complications it may cause, all due to the surgery. Both of these later mentioned problems might be very serious.

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