Gastric Bypass: Advantages & Disadvantages*

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Growing problem of obesity

Obesity is a common health condition rapidly increasing around the world. It is a complex issue that also encompasses biological, physical, psychological and social aspects. In general terms, obesity is the condition in which the weight of a person reaches a certain level when it starts to seriously affect health, causing chronic and ultimately life-threatening disorders. Excess weight is a well-known risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, respiratory failure, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, hypertension, joint degeneration and cancer. The risk of death among women with a body-mass index of 32 or greater is twice as higher than among women who are not overweight.

Who should consider gastric bypass?

When conventional approaches of dietary restrictions and exercise programmes do not help to achieve substantial long-term weight loss, gastric surgeries are recommended. When even the most modern pharmacological methods are unable to produce the desired results, surgery can help attain what is otherwise unattainable. Among the weight loss surgeries so far gastric bypass is showing the best results. It is the most successful way to help patients with severe obesity because of its safety, low morbidity and very low mortality, as well as the ability to reach remission of serious medical conditions related to obesity.

Gastric bypass surgery is usually performed laparoscopically. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a technically challenging operation. During the surgery, the proximal stomach is separated from the distal stomach to form a small, restrictive gastric pouch. Gastric bypass alters the way in which the human body digests food. This type of surgery works by restriction and malabsorbtion. Patients after gastric bypass surgery experience early satiety and, consequently, eat smaller meals, therefore, their weight starts decreasing.

Advantages of gastric bypass surgery

Disadvantages of gastric bypass surgery

Solution to obesity

Obese patients represent a unique part of population with important anatomical and physiological problems that can influence the surgery outcome. However, it is still possible to achieve optimal health after gastric bypass. Gastric bypass surgery decreases the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality in obese patients. Bariatric surgery is followed by substantial and durable weight loss and is associated with favourable metabolic effects far beyond those achieved by lifestyle modifications and pharmacological treatments. As a result, gastric bypass may improve or even resolve diabetes mellitus, hypertension, sleep apnea and dyslipidemia.

All patients should be carefully screened before the surgery and all postoperative patients need a constant monitoring by doctor to check for other potential problems.