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Gastric Bypass

Gastric Bypass is a type of weight loss surgery; performed laparoscopically, where by a small pouch is formed from the stomach, and the remaining stomach and portion of the small bowel are bypassed. After the surgery, the patient is then restricted and eats smaller portions, increasing the absence of hunger and reducing absorption. Although, patients can anticipate reducing their excess body weight by 80-85% over 18 months, patients must commit to making permanent changes to lead a healthier lifestyle. Most importantly, medical conditions are dramatically improved after the weight-loss, such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and sleep apnea.

Possible Candidates

Patients need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for gastric bypass surgery. Candidates will have to go through an extensive screening process to make sure that it’s the right choice for them. In general, ideal candidates for the procedure have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher (morbid-obesity), suffer from weight-related health conditions, have had a hard time losing weight despite numerous efforts at diet and exercise. Patients considering gastric bypass should be open to following precautionary measures leading into the surgery, including avoiding alcohol and tobacco products and stopping the use of certain medications.


Gastric Bypass surgery, as with any major surgery may have associated health risks. There is a 1% risk of ulcer formation in the pouch, especially if the patient takes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or smokes. The risk of iron deficiency in menstruating women is possible. Other deficiencies such as Vitamin B1, B12, Folate, Calcium and Vitamin D may occur if patients don’t continue taking their essential and recommended supplements. Other possible deficiencies that may occur after the surgery are hair loss during the first 3-6 months, however, this usually resolves by the first year.

Gastric Bypass surgery is an ultimate decision that requires a lifelong commitment from the patient. After surgery, patients may experience positive psychological effects resulting from improved physical and mental health. The surgery itself can produce significant improvements in quality of life measures, such as sleep cycle, level of confidence, and how a person views themselves, to name a few. The AVMC bariatric team will guide patients through the process, and support their weight-loss journey, ensuring their physical and mental well-being.

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