If you have tried to lose weight using the conventional methods of diet and exercise and haven’t been successful, or if you initially dropped some pounds and your weight loss has plateaued, you may be considering a surgical solution for the remainder of your weight loss journey. There are several different weight loss surgeries available, and one that is commonly recommended to many patients is a laparoscopic gastric bypass.
A laparoscopic gastric bypass is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ of weight loss surgeries that other procedures are measured against. This is primarily due to its strong safety profile and outstanding success rate. If you are recommended to have this procedure, you’ll undoubtedly have more than a few questions about what’s involved and what to expect. You’ll be able to ask these during your laparoscopic gastric bypass consultation in Long Island, but in the meantime, we’ve put together this list of frequently asked questions about laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery- and of course their answers.
Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is performed through 5 or 6 small incisions made into the abdomen, through which a small flexible tube is inserted. This tube has a camera and light at one end, and this relays a real-time image to your bariatric surgeon, Dr. Charles Thompson at Clarity Surgical. The abdominal cavity is inflated with gas and surgical instruments are inserted through the incisions so that the procedure can be performed.
The procedure itself involves the top portion of the stomach being stapled so that it is separated from the bottom, creating a small stomach pouch. A section of the small intestine is then attached to this pouch, enabling food to bypass the duodenum and lower part of the stomach. This helps to restrict the calories and nutrients that are absorbed by the body. At the end of the procedure, the abdominal cavity is deflated, and the incisions are closed using sutures.
Your laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery will be carried out under general anesthesia. This means you are asleep for the duration of the procedure and will not have any memory of your surgery. Patients will have their candidacy for general anesthetic assessed at their consultation.
In the 12 months following weight loss surgery, patients lose an average of 60-70% of their excess body weight. More importantly, laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery has one of the highest success rates when it comes to maintaining your weight loss, with studies showing that after 10 to 14 years, patients could maintain as much as 60% excess body weight loss.
Although the recovery time is shorter for laparoscopic surgery than open surgery, patients will still need to allow themselves a reasonable amount of time after their laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. On average, we ask that patients take 2 weeks off from work. Some patients will need longer, and some will need shorter. You should be able to get up and move around the same day as your surgery and doing so will help prevent blood clots from forming. However, you’ll need to take it easy for 4-6 weeks, or until given the all-clear to start exercising again by Dr. Thompson, your bariatric surgeon in Long Island, NY.
The majority of patients who undergo this procedure will experience some slight discomfort in the days after their surgery. Most find that over the counter pain medications are sufficient to ease their discomfort, but you may be able to have something stronger if you really need it. Dr. Thompson will be able to give you more information about pain control.
Since the amount of nutrients, you will be able to absorb following laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery will be reduced, you will need to take bariatric multivitamins. You may also need higher doses of specific vitamins or minerals, such as Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin D. Your bariatric surgeon will be able to advise you exactly what you will need to take and in which doses.
What you eat after your laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is just as important as the procedure itself. This is because the surgery will only truly be successful if you commit to making healthy lifestyle choices. You’ll need to follow a balanced diet that gives your body the fuel it needs without providing superfluous calories. You’ll only be able to consume much smaller meals than before and will need to eat slowly and carefully. There will also be a range of foods that you should avoid as they could make you bloated and uncomfortable, including bread, rice, pasta, high-fat food, processed foods, high fiber, tough meats, and alcohol. Your bariatric surgeon at Clarity Surgical will be able to give you more specific advice and recommendations.
Learn more about laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, contact Clarity Surgical and Weight Loss Solutions at (516) 259-2525 to book a consultation.