Anatomy of the Gastric Bypass Pouch
Gastric bypass surgery is a weight loss surgery that addresses the problem of obesity and the co-morbidities of obesity. The gastric bypass procedure divides the stomach into a small upper pouch through which food will pass, and a larger lower pouch that contributes digestive juices into the intestine.
The small intestine is then modified so that both pouches connect to it; as well, part of the intestine is bypassed. The result is that the patient will feel full faster and with less food owing to the reduced-capacity of the pouch, and the usable route of the intestine will absorb fewer calories (and nutrients). Weight loss is achieved quickly. Read “How Gastric Bypass Surgery Works” to learn more.
The gastric bypass pouch is formed by the part of the stomach that is least likely to stretch. A normal stomach is capable of stretching more than 1000 ml. The reduced gastric bypass pouch size is about 15 ml. and can hold about one-cup of food. The small size of the gastric bypass pouch will not accommodate any major change in pouch size in the long term.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
There are two methods for gastric bypass surgery. The first is the open gastric bypass method that requires an 8 to 10 inch incision above the abdomen. The laproscopic gastric bypass method requires a number of small incisions through which a laparoscope and surgical tools are passed. The laproscope projects images of the operation on a monitor.
How the Gastric Bypass Pouch Works
The first principle of how the gastric bypass pouch works has to do with the stretch of the pouch walls.
The gastric bypass pouch expanding is detected by receptors in the pouch wall which then send a message to the brain that the stomach is full. The patient will then experience the sensation of being full despite consuming only a small bit of food. Patients would do well to learn the proper use of the gastric bypass pouch to maintain permanent weight loss. Read “Gastric Bypass Pouch Rules for Dummies” to learn more.
The second principle of the gastric bypass pouch has to do with maintaining a specific weight. The small pouch becomes capable of holding more food across time, but by the time this happens the desired weight is lost. While the capacity of the pouch has increased, this increase allows the patient to maintain the lower body weight.
When the small bowel receives nutrients, a number of hormones are released. These hormones check additional food intake. It is supposed that changes in gut hormone levels following gastric bypass reduces both food intake and body weight in obese people. There is some debate over the validity of this contention.
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