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Advantages: Bariatric Bypass Surgery

Before considering bariatric bypass surgery, it is important to know what you may getting into. Bariatric bypass surgery – also known as gastric bypass surgery – has made a great deal of headway, in large part because it is becoming part of the main stream consciousness: celebrities like Carnie Wilson and American Idol judge, Randy Jackson, are but a few examples of people who are reaping the benefits of gastric bypass surgery.

But weight loss surgery is definitely not for those who want a quick fix or who simply don’t want to diet. Patients who undergo bariatric bypass surgery often must adhere to strict dietary guidelines following surgery or they will be sadly disappointed in their weight loss results. Exercise is also a key component in weight loss for those who opt for weight loss surgery, as it is for everyone. Patients who exercise at least thirty minutes a day following weight loss surgery lose weight thirty percent faster, as well as gain the overall health benefits of regular exercise.

Bariatric surgery alters the digestive process. The operations promote weight loss by closing off parts of the stomach to make it smaller. Operations that only reduce stomach size are known as ”restrictive operations” because they restrict the amount of food the stomach can hold.

Some operations combine stomach restriction with a partial bypass of the small intestine. These procedures create a direct connection from the stomach to the lower segment of the small intestine, literally bypassing portions of the digestive tract that absorb calories and nutrients. These are known as malabsorptive operations.

Malabsorptive surgery improves most obesity-related conditions. For example, in one study blood sugar levels of 83 percent of obese patients with diabetes returned to normal after surgery. Nearly all patients whose blood sugar levels did not return to normal were older or had lived with diabetes for a long time.

The following is a list of advantages to bariatric bypass surgery:

  • Limits the amount of food you can consume at one time.
  • Enables you to feel satisfied after smaller portions.
  • Provides deterrent to eating sweets by giving most patients ”the dumping syndrome” (which causes cramping, diarrhea and other unpleasant symptoms) after consumption of concentrated sweets. This helps alleviate the craving for desserts and sweetened beverages in most patients. Sugar substitutes are used instead.
  • Provides you with a ”tool” to help achieve the permanent weight loss you desire.

Aside from its immediate benefits, gastric bypass surgery also often helps eliminate many medical problems like:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Reflux (Heartburn)
  • Joint Pain
  • Heel Pain
  • High Cholesterol
  • Urine Control Problems
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Leg Swelling
  • Leg Ulcers
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri
  • Menstrual Irregularities
  • Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
  • Chronic Headaches

Bariatric bypass surgery is an effective tool in losing and maintaining weight. While an estimated 5% of patients with more than 100 pounds of excess weight will successfully lose weight through dieting, the vast majority of patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery will lose weight and more importantly, keep it off. This usually results in either significant improvement or complete resolution of medical problems related to obesity.