We are very fortunate to call Westchester home. Life here is very exciting and vibrant. Being next door to one of the world’s most diverse and culturally important cities, there is always so much to see, do and experience. But far too many people are prevented from experiencing life here to its fullest because their weight makes it far too difficult.
You may feel that your excess weight has been keeping you from enjoying life the way that others can. If you ever had to decline an invitation to do something you wanted to do because you didn’t know if you would physically be able to manage it, you may be interested in gastric bypass surgery to restore the freedom and physical well-being that comes with losing your excess weight.
About Gastric Bypass Surgery
The procedure, formally known as the Roux-en-Y bypass surgery, is performed laparoscopically. A small pouch the size of an egg is created by dividing the top portion of the stomach. The small intestine is then divided lower down and one end is brought up and connected to the stomach pouch. The other end of the intestine is reconnected to the digestive tract.
Why It Works
The reduced size of the stomach will effectively limit the amount of food you can consume. Your body’s ability to absorb the calories in food will also be diminished because it will be diverted from a large part of your stomach and a section of your small intestine. The hormones related to sense of hunger and satisfaction triggered in your small intestine will be recalibrated because of the surgery, so you will no longer feel hungry the same way. Lastly, a condition called dumping syndrome occurs in about half of gastric bypass patients; which includes palpitations, abdominal pain and diarrhea caused by eating rich or sugary foods. Although it is a very unpleasant side effect, it will be very beneficial in keeping you from making poor food choices.
Advantages of the Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery has a forty-year history and has become the gold standard of bariatric surgeries. Unlike other, newer procedures, we have the long-term data as evidence of its lasting benefits.
Within the first two years following gastric bypass surgery, most patients see their excess weight reduced by 50 to 60%. The rate of weight loss is more rapid than that of the gastric band. You should feel much healthier and more energetic because of the weight loss. Your future risk of developing weight-related health conditions like certain types of cancer, arthritis and high blood pressure will also be greatly reduced.
Compared to gastric banding that relies on a device, which can erode, get displaced or malfunction, there is no risk of mechanical issues arising with gastric bypass surgery.
What Else Should You Know About Gastric Bypass Surgery?
There is risk involved with all major surgery. As a patient, we want you to be aware of all the risks and possible side effects of bariatric surgeries so you can make a sound and informed decision about which surgery is right for you. Your surgeon will be available to discuss the risks and answer any question you may have.
Some of the more serious complications that may arise from gastric bypass surgery could necessitate additional surgeries and extended hospital stays. These include an anastomotic leak, which is an internal leak that develops along the staple line and blood clots forming in your legs and possibly moving to the lungs.
Following the surgery, you will also be at greater risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to you body’s diminished ability to absorb nutrients.
In the long term, you may also experience muscle loss. This happens when the body perceives itself as being in starvation mode and burns muscle tissue for energy in an effort to preserve fat. Following significant and rapid weight loss, some patients complain of excess skin. This is relatively common, and you may be referred to a plastic surgeon to determine if a surgical intervention is advisable.
What happens after the surgery can play as important a role in your weight loss as the surgery itself. That’s why we believe our role does not end after you leave the hospital. In fact, we want our patients to feel they have a life-long partner and resource in the staff and doctors at the Westchester office of New York Bariatric Group.
You will be equipped with a comprehensive follow-up plan to help guide you through the recovery process and start you on your new path that includes a healthier lifestyle and good eating and exercise habits.
For the first few days after surgery, you will only be able to drink liquids. As the swelling in your stomach diminishes, you will move on to a diet consisting of soft or mushy foods. After about 5 weeks, you should be able to reintroduce solid foods to your diet. You will find your portion sizes are much smaller because you will not be able to eat as much. As such, your food choices will be very important. You will be encouraged to make sure your diet includes plenty of protein to help maintain your muscle mass. You will also need to take vitamin supplements daily to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
The risk of blood clots forming in the legs exists with any abdominal surgery. To help prevent them from occurring, we will encourage you to walk as much as possible after the surgery. That’s only the first step we will ask you take in adopting a regular exercise routine. Physical activity helps your mobility, boosts your energy and will improve your overall health. It will become a very important component of your new healthy lifestyle.
We will ask you to return for regular follow-up visits in the weeks, months and years following your surgery. These appointments will be critical and must not be missed. Your doctors will assess your progress, ensure your digestive system is functioning properly, make dietary recommendations and answer any questions you may have. These return visits are the best way to ensure your long-term and sustained weight loss.
Contact the Westchester office of New York Bariatric Group today if you feel gastric bypass surgery might be right for you.