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Important Facts About Gastric Bypass Surgery

By Pamela Graham

Imagine reorganizing the alimentary canal such that the small intestine separates the stomach into two unequal parts. Gastric bypass surgery does exactly that. It is an operation that one can benefit from when in New York City. The main aim is to alter the function of the digestive system to suit the needs of the individual in question. In this case, the concerned individual is one suffering from morbid obesity or associated conditions such as hypertension, sleep apnea and diabetes among others.

Laparoscopy is the commonly used technique though open surgery can also be employed. Sometimes, both techniques are utilized. In laparoscopy, a number of ports are made to access the stomach and the small bowel. A video camera place within a telescope is used to guide the surgeon during the operation. The essence of making an upper small pouch of the stomach is to ensure feeding is restricted.

Complications are bound to arise either in the course of the procedure or post operatively. The complications may be specific to bariatric surgeries or may be general to all other major abdominal procedures. It is important to know what complications to expect in order to weigh the risks and mortality of the same. Laparoscopic procedures are usually more preferred since it comes with less risk compared to open operations.

One of the complications that may occur is infection. This usually results either from either the incisions made during the operation or because of release of bacteria from the intestines. Infections may be as a result of exposure to bacteria while in the hospital. Common examples include pneumonia and sepsis. This can be managed through use of antibiotics and being diligent in respiratory therapy.

Blood tends to clot more during an operation to counter the bleeding that occurs as result of incisions made. The clots frequently form in leg veins and sometimes the pelvis for the very obese patient. Unfortunately, the blood clots may get dislodged and travel to the lungs posing a serious threat to the health of the individual. Anticoagulants are usually given preoperatively to minimise chance of venous thromboembolism.

Other complications are general to abdominal surgeries and include hemorrhage, hernias and bowel obstruction. Hemorrhage may occur as a result of accidental cutting of blood vessels. Blood for transfusion should therefore be availed prior to the procedure, in case it is needed. The chance of a hernia occurring is markedly reduced when operation is done laparoscopically. Bowel obstruction may occur either due to hernia or adhesion bands formed due to scarring.

If done successfully, the operation yields remarkable results. Research shows that at least sixty five percent of excess body weight is lost which is far more than can be achieved by any other method. Additionally, the effects of related medical conditions are markedly reduced. For instance, snoring significantly reduces in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea and medication requirements in people with essential hypertension are significantly reduced.

There are a number of downsides though. People who have undergone gastric bypass experience both emotional and physiologically changes. They may get depressed as a result of having to adjust their food intake. With low intake of food, they may end up with low energy levels and muscle weakness. Consequently, they are likely to face challenges in carrying out strenuous activities such as lifting heavy objects or even climbing stairs. Fortunately, these issues get resolved over time as food consumption gradually increases.

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