Gastric Bypass Surgery: Long Term Outcomes

People prefer bariatric surgery because it is safer and less invasive. Gastric bypass is the most preferred, and then there’s sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bands, Roux-en-Y, and biliopancreatic diversion. Among these, Roux-en-Y is the most common surgical procedure. In this procedure, the surgeon makes a small pouch above the stomach, and no other part of the stomach will receive food except the pouch. This significantly limits what you can consume. The surgeon connects the pouch to the small intestine, at a part below where the main stomach attaches to the small intestine. Therefore, food bypasses a large part of the small intestine, limiting the absorption of calories and nutrients.

Here are the outcomes of this procedure:

• Weight loss in the long-term- For those with about 100 lbs. to lose and with a BMI above 40, gastric bypass is their ideal option to regain health. Two years after the procedure, a patient loses 60 percent of their excess weight.

• Remission of other diseases-two to five years post-operative, people experience a remission oftype 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There’s also symptom relief from other conditions such as depression, sleep apnea, joint, and back pain.

After Gastric bypass surgery, some patients may experience:

• Deficiency of vitamins and minerals (30 percent)

• Dumping syndrome – nausea, weakness, or vomiting because of the fastmovement of food along the gut, especially after the consumption of carbohydrates or sweets (50 percent).

• Gallstones due to fast weight loss (20%)

• Stomach stenosis – This is the narrowing of the opening found at the point where the stomach links to the intestine (below 5 percent).

• Hernias ( below 5 percent)

• Bowel obstruction (3 percent)

• Staple line leakage (3%)

• Pulmonary embolism (2%)

However, when patients stick to the recommended diet, consume vitamin supplements, and adhere to follow-up visits, the overall rate of these complications following gastric bypass is below 6%. Those intending to undergo this surgery will find that its advantages outweigh the possible risks.



Gallbladder Removal Should Be Performed Before Bariatric Surgery

According to a new study published in the British journal of Surgery, gallbladder surgery also known as cholecystectomy, should precede bariatric surgery, and that means it should not happen after or during (RYGB) Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

Researchers from Orebro University in Sweden and Karolinska University Hospital, among other medical institutions, carried out the study using data gathered between 2007 and 2013 from a register of 79,386 cholecystectomy patients in Sweden, and 36,098 Scandinavian obesity patients.

The purpose of the research was to establish the optimal order of gallbladder surgery and gastric bypass surgery when both surgical procedures are indicated. The main outcomes of the study were operation times, complication rates, and reoperation rates.

The study’s results revealed that:

• Performing cholecystectomy after gastric bypass led to a higher aggregate complication risk. However, the aggregate complication risk was lower when cholecystectomy preceded gastric bypass.

• A complication after carrying out the first procedure independently led to a higher complication risk of the subsequent procedure.

• When cholecystectomy took place at the same time as gastric bypass, there was a high complication risk.

• When both gall bladder surgery and gastric bypass were performed at the same time, an average of 61.7 minutes was added to the surgery’s total duration.

The lead author of the research, Viktor Wanjura, concluded that, for patients who have obesity and the symptoms of gallstone disease, the best approach is to perform gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) before gastric bypass, to avoid post-op complications.

For many years, gastric bypass has been the benchmark for bariatric surgery. This procedure entails performing laparoscopic surgery (minimally invasive) to make a stomach pouch from the entire stomach. The surgeon then connects a part of the small intestine to the stomach pouch, thus leaving a tiny opening for food to pass. The outcome is a sensation of fullness after you eat small amounts of food.

Can Weight Loss Surgery Overcome Genetics?

Just because a family has a long history of members who are obese doesn’t mean that outcome is inevitable. Even if a person is already obese, there is hope. The sleeve gastrectomy procedure can make a very big difference in helping people overcome genetic predispositions for obesity.


The sleeve gastrectomy procedure is designed to limit the amount of food a stomach can hold. The procedure involves the removal of a portion of the stomach. The remaining stomach is reshaped to resemble a sleeve or banana. While not as intensive as the gastric bypass, the gastrectomy may have exceptional results for people with genetic tendencies toward obesity. The procedure not only shrinks stomach holding capacity, it also modifies the mechanisms in the brain that promote hunger. People who undergo the procedure often report they no longer feel hungry and they tend to no longer crave the higher-calorie foods they once did. While specific results may vary, many patients who undergo the sleeve procedure lose about 50 percent of their excess body weight within a two-year period.


People who are obese may find that surgery offers them a way to address genetic predispositions. This procedure alone, however, cannot guarantee success. In order for any bariatric procedure to be truly successful, patients must commit to lifestyle changes that promote weight loss and eventual maintenance of it.


Obesity is a serious concern for about a third of the American population. Whether genetics play a role or not, losing weight can dramatically improve overall health. Obesity is strongly linked to diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer, among other serious health complications. Losing weight through any means can help safeguard health. It is strongly recommended that people who are obese talk to their doctors about all weight loss options. Genetic predisposition or not, shedding pounds can have positive and lasting impacts on health.


Gastric Bypasses Can Lower Diabetes-Related Death Risks: Study

The link between obesity and type 2 diabetes has long been established. People who are obese are simply more likely to develop this disease, which has consequences that can be deadly. A recent study is shedding light on the potential weight loss may have for lowering the morbidity risks associated with diabetes. Specifically, people who undergo gastric bypass procedures to address obesity may see their diabetes-related mortality risks drop significantly.


The study in question involved more than 3,200 people who underwent gastric bypasses to promote weight loss. These patients were matched with a set of controls based upon such factors as age, the existence of diabetes before surgery and body mass index. Members of the control group did not undergo bypasses. Researchers followed up on diabetics within the study around the 5.8-year mark. Those without diabetes were tracked for about 6.7 years.


Researchers ultimately found marked overall improvements in health in the study group that underwent gastric bypasses. Many of the patients who had diabetes saw the condition go into remission after surgery. In fact, nearly 40 percent of gastric bypass patients experienced complete remission after two years. Other health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease and respiratory concerns, were improved in the bypass group. Of particular note, however, was the finding that bypasses lowered diabetes-related mortality risks by about 56 percent.


It is estimated about a third of the American population is considered obese. This condition is strongly associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, certain forms of cancer and other serious conditions. Taking steps to lose weight can dramatically lower the risks for health-related complications. Weight loss surgery may provide the most viable option for some people to effectively lose weight and keep it off. As the study’s authors found, bypasses may even lower the risk of dying from obesity-related health conditions. People who are obese are strongly urged to talk with their healthcare providers to explore all weight loss options available to them.

LAP-BAND® Complications: When to Call a Healthcare Provider

While the sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass have long since eclipsed the LAP-BAND® procedure in popularity, this weight-loss option has been the procedure of choice for thousands of patients across the country since its approval in 2001. Designed to offer a less invasive, reversible way for people who are obese to address their weight-loss concerns head on, the laparoscopic alternative began to fall out of favor as problems associated with device failure and complication rates became more widely known.

Although many people continue to obtain the LAP-BAND® procedure with fantastic results, some former patients may find themselves facing issues related to the device. The high rate of failure and complication potential, in fact, has given rise to the recommendation that anyone who uses this device check in with their doctor at least once a year for an evaluation. Outside of annual evaluations, there are some potential issues that may arise that could make contacting a doctor sooner rather than later important. Here are some of the circumstances that should prompt a call for medical advice:

• Excessive gains of weight that was once lost – This may signal that the device has stopped working. If that is the case, a bariatric surgeon may be able to refill the band using an office-based procedure. This essentially restores its effectiveness.
• Unexplained nausea, vomiting or acid reflux – If the source of the concern is unknown or other causes have been ruled out, the band itself may have slipped from its intended position. Revisionary surgery may be required to address the problem.
• Unexplained pain – If pain is in anyway associated with the LAP-BAND®, it is recommended patients contact their healthcare providers right way. Slipped may have occurred that requires intervention to address.

Thousands of people have benefitted from the weight loss help the LAP-BAND® has provided since 2001. For most, the procedure has been a trouble-free experience, but that is not always the case. Former patients who suspect LAP-BAND® failure or complications are strongly advised to seek medical attention. Revisionary procedures may address the concerns while putting people back on the path for weight loss success.


Can Weight Loss Surgery Really Benefit Health?

Bariatric surgery has a proven track record for helping people lose weight and maintain their losses. Procedures such as the sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass, in fact, are commonly recommended by doctors to patients who are considered morbidly obese. Over the past few years, however, researchers have gained a better understanding of the full slate of health benefits such procedures may hold for those who are considered dangerously overweight. While the headlines might seem sensational, the results doctors, their patients and researchers are finding are not.

While the main focus of weight loss surgery is to help obese people bring their weight into check, the health benefits associated with procedures like the gastrectomy and bypass may include:

• Prevention or better control of type 2 diabetes – Studies have shown that bariatric procedures can help people who are obese dramatically lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Should the condition already be present, surgery may help put symptoms into remission in some cases. Other patients have found that controlling blood sugar levels and other related symptoms is much easier post-surgery.

• Lowering heart-related concerns – People who are obese are at much higher risk for developing heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other potentially dangerous concerns. Weight loss surgery can lower the risks for these concerns and may make treating them if they are already present much easier. Many patients who suffer from high cholesterol and blood pressure prior to surgery find, for example, that these concerns go away as the weight comes off.

• Reducing cancer-related risk – Obesity is a common risk factor for many different types of cancer. Bariatric surgery has been shown to help reduce the risk.

Improved mobility – People who are morbidly obese may suffer from mobility-related concerns, such as osteoarthritis, knee and back pain, and other related concerns. Studies have found that people who lose weight through bariatric procedures may enjoy significant improvements in these conditions while also having the potential to see their stamina and range of motion increase.

People who are overweight should talk to their doctors about the potential health benefits bariatric surgery or other weight-loss methods may hold for them. Losing weight and keeping it off through diet, exercise, surgery or other medical interventions can improve and protect health.


New Weight Loss Procedure Offers Alternative for Some

Addressing weight once and for all can be a big concern for people who are considered morbidly obese. If left unchecked, obesity can promote heart disease, diabetes and many other life-limiting conditions. While surgical procedures offer tremendous results and have helped thousands lose weight and keep it off, not everyone is an excellent candidate for operations like the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass. A relatively new option is providing hope for those who simply cannot or are not willing to undergo an intense procedure. Known as the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, this non-surgical alternative is considered minimally invasive and has proven itself quite useful in promoting effective weight loss without the need for a scalpel.

The endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is designed to provide similar benefits to the traditional sleeve gastrectomy procedure that is performed surgically. The endoscopic version, however, takes about 40 minutes to perform and requires no cutting. Instead, an endoscope is inserted into the body. The scope carries with it a special suturing device that is used to shrink the size of the stomach, effectively limiting its holding capacity. Since the procedure involves no cutting, recovery time tends to be rather minimal.

Although lacking in some of the benefits associated with the sleeve gastrectomy, the endoscopic procedure has held up well in clinical testing. One study involving just under 100 patients treated in this manner showed about 18 percent weight loss after a year and roughly 21 percent over two years.

Obesity is a serious concern across the United States where an estimated third of the population is considered overweight. People who are obese find themselves at much greater risk for seriously life-limiting illnesses along with a host of other potential complications. Taking steps to address weight can greatly improve overall health. If obesity is a concern, speak with a healthcare provider for case-specific advice.

Additional Surgeries Common After Gastric Banding: Study

People who have undergone gastric band procedures to help them address obesity-related concerns may find themselves at higher risk for needing additional operations, a recent study concluded. According to researchers, about one in five people who undergo a gastric band procedure end up requiring additional surgery within five years.

The gastric band was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2001. The procedure works by placing a band around the upper part of the stomach. The placement essentially decreases the size of the stomach, which means people have less room to hold food. The band’s tightness can be adjusted, which can prove to be a big benefit in some cases, such as if a patient becomes pregnant down the road.

Although gastric bands have helped thousands successfully lose weight, complications are not entirely uncommon. Bands can, for example, slip or erode within the stomach. These issues require surgical intervention to address.

The recent study that concluded the need for additional surgeries in about one out of five patients involved data related to more than 25,000 gastric band patients. The analysis showed that about 18.5 patients ended up needing at least one additional surgery to remove, move or repair their bands.

Although still available, the gastric band has fallen out of favor with many bariatric surgeons. Procedures such as the gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are more readily offered now due to their long-term success rates. Although considered permanent, both procedures have a strong track record for helping people lose weight and keep it off.

People who are considered severely obese are at especially high risk for serious health complications. Taking steps to address weight can lower risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure, among other conditions. To find out more about bariatric surgery, consult with a licensed healthcare provider for case-specific recommendations.

New Procedure Offers Weight Loss Surgery Alternative

While weight loss surgery has a track record of success that dates back more than four decades, this option isn’t desired or advisable for all people. When surgery just isn’t a good fit, a new alternative is offering hope for those who need to shed pounds to improve and safeguard health. Called the sleeve gastroplasty, this procedure is similar to the most popular surgical intervention. Unlike the sleeve gastrectomy, however, gastroplasty doesn’t involve surgery.

The sleeve gastroplasty procedure was developed to essentially mimic some of the changes that are created in the body when a gastrectomy is performed. Instead of using a laparoscopic surgical procedure to physically remove a portion of the stomach and reshape the remainder, gastroplasy is performed using an endoscope and a suturing device. Rather than remove a portion of the stomach, which would involve surgery, the gastroplasty calls for cinching the organ. The end result is a smaller, banana-shaped pouch that cannot hold as much food as a normal stomach.

Gastroplasty is seen as a viable option for people who cannot physically undergo surgery, cannot afford it or simply are unwilling to take this course of action. The procedure is considered minimally invasive and isn’t associated with the side effects commonly linked to surgery. Even so, it is important for patients considering gastroplasty to understand that complications may arise. Nausea, vomiting, stomach leakage and infections may result, but are rare.

Researchers have found that gastroplasty does produce significant results. Although not likely to promote the high rate of excess weight loss experienced after the gastrectomy, gastroplasty patients may see as much as 18 percent of their body weight come off after a year.

People who are considered morbidly obese are strongly urged to speak with their healthcare providers about all weight loss options. If surgery isn’t the best choice, gastroplasty may provide the help needed to lose weight and keep it off.


Tips for Enjoying Long-Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery isn’t a panacea. While it’s well-documented that procedures such as the gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy can help people shed large percentages of excess body fat, these operations aren’t a “cure” for obesity. In order to enjoy long-term success, patients who choose this path must be willing to commit to making major and lasting lifestyle changes.

These tips can help those who plan to undergo bariatric surgery count themselves among the 85 percent or so of patients who report lasting success:

• Prepare in advance – This doesn’t just mean following doctor’s pre-surgical advice. It also means understanding exactly what to expect, undergoing counseling and nutritional assistance in advance and generally having a strong grasp on what life will be like after surgery. Patients who are well-prepared are often better able to adjust to the dietary and lifestyle changes that are musts after weight loss surgery.

Follow nutritional advice closely – Since most weight loss procedures call for a dramatic reduction in stomach holding capacity, diet will matter after surgery. It is important to work closely with a nutritionist to ensure the diet selected is one that packs nutrition into every bite.

• Be sure to get physical – Exercise is a key component in helping weight loss surgery patients obtain and maintain a healthy weight. It is important to seek advice from a doctor on when exercise may start after surgery and what type of exercise is deemed suitable. Keep in mind that as weight comes off and fitness levels improve, more vigorous activity will likely be recommended.

• Take advantage of support – The quest to lose weight and keep it off is one that will continue for years after surgery. Be sure to take advantage of any support system available to stay on track with diet and exercise. Some surgeons even offer online support groups to help their former patients years down the road.

Weight loss surgery can produce tremendous results. People who want to make sure the weight stays off, however, need to be committed to lasting change. For more advice on how to enjoy long-term success after surgery, consult with a licensed bariatric surgeon.