If you are researching the options for weight loss surgery and leaning toward the gastric bypass, you will find the following gastric bypass surgery facts useful. Gastric bypass is the surgery that I chose to undergo in 2003. I have since lost over one-hundred and twenty-five pounds and I am delighted with my weight loss.
Gastric Bypass Surgery Facts
The medical criteria for gastric bypass surgery is a BMI of 40 or more. A BMI of 35 or more that is accompanied by medical problems such as Diabetes Type 2 is generally accepted. Add to that, health insurers look for a medical history where diet, exercise, and medicine such as prescription weight loss, have been unsuccessful. As well, a bariatric psych evaluation must be successfully undergone.
Te bariatric psych evaluation is an extensive screening process to evaluate your psychological status — depression, sexual abuse, eating disorders, etc. Failing the evaluation will not disqualify you from your bariatric surgery although it may postpone it. The bariatric surgeon and health insurer also will review your medical history for risk factors such as blood clots, heart conditions, liver disease, that could make bariatric surgery unsafe. Also you will have to undergo a physical exam and lab work.
After you have been approved for gastric bypass, you will need to make lifestyle changes before your surgery. This may include losing weight, diet and fluid restriction, smoking cessation, counseling to prepare you for your post-surgery life, and perhaps beginning a program of exercise. Some health insurers require a mandatory weight loss during this period in order to qualify for the bariatric surgery.
How Gastric Bypass Works
Gastric bypass surgery decreases the size of the stomach, most commonly by dividing and stapling-off the upper part of the stomach, which then becomes the “new” stomach that is commonly called the “pouch.” The lower part of the stomach remains but no longer receives food or absorbs nutrients. Part of the intestine will be bypassed and attached to the new stomach, or pouch. The result is that you will feel full faster and with less food, and your body will absorb fewer calories. Read “How Gastric Bypass Surgery Works” to learn more.
Gastric Bypass Surgery Facts:
Cost, Recovery, Results
Gastric Bypass Surgery Cost
The cost of gastric bypass surgery is $18,000-$35,000. Check with your health insurer to determine insurance coverage for weight loss surgery and eligibility requirements. Many insurers will cover part or all of the surgery if your doctor determines it is medically necessary, or if you meet the National Institute of Health requirement for gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric Bypass Surgery Recovery
Gastric bypass recovery time is typically 4-6 weeks, although you may not be back to eating solid foods until 3 months post surgery. Overeating will cause your stomach to stretch and undermine the weight loss surgery.
Gastric Bypass Surgery Results
Average weight loss is 60% of the excess weight. While you will more than likely see dramatic weight loss in your first year post-surgery, gastric bypass is intended for long-term weight loss over a period of years with the proper diet and exercise.
The Annals of Surgery defines long-term success as achieving and maintaining a normal BMI for 5.5 years. For the morbidly obese (BMI 30-49) the success rate is 93%. The success rate for the super obese (BMI 50+) is 57%. You must maintain a life-long diet and exercise regiment because after 10 years patients regain an average of 20-25% of their weight!
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life
Photo: Dr. Vishal Mehta