Gastric Bypass Surgery
The Basics of Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery (LRYGB)
Being obese is not easy. People who suffer from obesity are often mocked and frowned upon as if it were their fault that they are obese. That’s in addition of all the health hazards that obesity conveys. Unfortunately, diet and exercise alone don’t work for everyone.
Fortunately, there are several different types of bariatric (obesity) surgery that allow a person to lose weight with a minimum of risk. One of the most popular is called Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery, or LRYGB. The staff at Bahamas Medical Center has a surgical team that is highly experienced performing LRYGB for patients from all over the world.
Bahamas Medical Center: Weight Loss Solutions
When Is a Person a Candidate for Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery (LRYGB)?
A person has to suffer from morbid obesity in order to be considered for LRYGB. In order to understand morbid obesity, body mass index should be understood first. Body mass index, or BMI, is a number that indicates how much a human body departs from an ideal weight depending on its individual mass and height. This is a much more reliable indicator than weight alone. It’s calculated by dividing the mass of the body in kilograms by the square of its height. It’s measured in kg/m².
The desirable BMI for a person ranges between 18.5 and 25 kg/m². A person must have a BMI of at least 40 in order to be considered to suffer from morbid obesity and to be a candidate for LRYGB.
There are a number of other health factors that enter into the overall decision of whether or not you are a candidate for LRYGB. The medical staff at Bahamas Medical Center would be happy to consult with you about your health history in order to evaluate your needs.
Understanding Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass, Roux-en-Y
The term is long because it’s composed of several elements. Let’s analyze them individually.
Gastric bypass is the name of the surgery. It consists of using surgical staples in order to create a small pouch in the upper stomach. This involves either blocking it from the rest of the stomach or separating it completely. The second option is the most recommended as it reduces the risk of the stomach’s parts fusing together again, which would negate the effects of the surgery. The purpose of the small pouch is to greatly limit the amount of food that can be ingested. As a result, one needs to eat less food in order to feel satisfied and tends to lose weight naturally.
There are several types of gastric bypass surgery. The most common one is Roux-en-Y. In this procedure, the small intestine is cut a short distance from the outlet of the stomach. The end at the outlet of the stomach is then connected near the beginning of the small intestine (proximal gastric bypass) or nearer the end of the small intestine (distal gastric bypass), forming a “Y” form. The other end is connected to the pouch, allowing it to drain and move the food to the intestines.
Lastly, “laparoscopic” means that the surgery is done through small incisions (as opposed to a large cut) and with the aid of a laparoscope, a long, thin instrument that allows the surgeon to see the interior of the patient’s body.
Benefits of LRYGB
LRYGB is very popular because, in addition to weight loss, it offers most patients the following benefits:
- Less pain
- Reduced recovery time
- A high rate of correction of hyperlipidemia (fats in the blood)
- Reduced essential hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Reduction or elimination of sleep apnea and snoring
- A high rate of improvement in Type 2 Diabetes
- Reduction of gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Reduced risk of thromboembolic conditions, including reduction of leg swelling
- Reduction or elimination of back and joint pain
- Reduction in predicted cardiovascular disease
- Reduction in NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)
There are other social and psychological benefits as well, such as improvement of confidence and self-esteem.
Risks of LRYGB Bariatric Surgery
Like any surgery, LRYBG involves some risks. In addition to the risks inherent to any surgery, the risks associated with LRYBD are:
- Anastomotic leakage
- Anastomotic stricture
- Anastomotic ulcer
- Dumping syndrome
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Development of Pica
However, most bariatric patients do not develop these complications and go on to experience the benefits of long term weight loss. If you’ve been unsuccessful at losing weight for years, a gastric bypass could be the solution to the problem. Bariatric surgery helps tens of thousands of people lose weight and keep it off every year. Bahamas Medical Center offers a wide variety of bariatric surgeries. Please feel free to contact the international patient department for more information and answers to all of your bariatric surgery questions.
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