Gastric bypass surgery, or laparoscopic bypass surgery, is the most frequently performed type of weight loss surgery in the U.S. It works by altering the digestive tract, bypassing a portion of your stomach and intestine so you eat less and fewer calories are absorbed from the food you eat. Gastric bypass surgery is often referred to as both a restrictive and malabsorptive form of weight loss surgery because it limits how much you eat as well as limiting the calories that are metabolized.
First, the stomach is divided into two sections – a small upper “pouch about the size of a ping pong ball, and a lower pouch. The upper pouch will serve as your “new” stomach while the lower portion will be bypassed. The upper pouch can only contain about an ounce of food, so you'll feel full faster and you won't consume as many calories. Once the stomach is divided, the upper pouch will be connected to the middle of the small intestine, bypassing the upper portion of the small intestine where much of the digestive processes occur. By avoiding this portion of the small intestine, fewer calories are absorbed. The procedure is performed laparoscopically, meaning only small incisions will be needed.
In general, gastric bypass surgery can be a good option for patients who:
are in good general health;
have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more;
have a BMI between 35 and 40 as well as an obesity-related medical issue like high blood pressure or type II diabetes.
Before any type of weight loss surgery, Dr. Liu will perform a comprehensive health evaluation to determine your risk factors so he can help you decide if surgery is right for you.
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