Gastric Bypass Surgery FAQ

Do you have gastric bypass surgery questions? Well we’ve got answers! Browse the questions below to get answers to some of the most common questions about gastric bypass surgery! From the cost of gastric bypass to gastric bypass recovery!

Q: What is gastric bypass?

A: Gastric bypass is a surgery that utilizes a decrease in a patient’s stomach size and a partial bypass of their small intestine in effort to reduce caloric intake. By reducing the amount of calories the person consumes, they can effectively lose weight with the help of a continued healthy diet and regular exercise. Gastric bypass is also commonly referred to as “roux-en-y” surgery after Dr. Phillibart Roux who introduced the idea of bypass surgery in the 19th century.

Q: How much does gastric bypass cost?

A: The cost of gastric bypass surgery is certainly not cheap. The average cost ranges from $15,000 USD to $25,000 USD. Many insurance companies cover a portion of the cost if the patient is morbidly obese. Individuals that are morbidly obese and looking to get their surgery approved through their insurance company will need to provide detailed records of their diet and medical history and undergo additional medical and psychological tests.

Q: What are the risks of gastric bypass?

A: Before considering gastric bypass surgery, you need to understand that it a major procedure and there are a number of risks involved. The most common complications of gastric bypass include, but aren’t limited to, vitamin and mineral deficiency, dehydration, gallstones, kidney stones, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). In some rare cases patients have experienced blood clots in their legs, leaking at the staple lines in their stomachs, pneumonia, and death. It is highly recommended that you ask your physician about all of the potential risks involved with gastric bypass surgery if you’re considering it.

Q: How can I prepare for gastric bypass?

A: Preparing for gastric bypass surgery is no easy task. You’ll need to go through a rigorous screening process that involves dietitians, psychologists, and surgeons to determine if gastric bypass is for you. Your physician may also restrict your diet, get your started on an exercise regimen, and, if you smoke, suggest that you avoid the use of cigarettes. It’s extremely important to follow your physician’s recommendations and directions when preparing for the surgery.

Q: What can I expect during gastric bypass?

A: During a gastric bypass surgery you can expect to be put under general anesthesia. Your stomach will be stapled across the top and will be reduced to one ounce — about the size of an egg. After the stomach is stapled, the surgeon cuts your small intestine and attaches part of it directly to the newly created pouch in your stomach.

Q: What is the recovery time for gastric bypass?

A: The recovery time for gastric bypass is approximately six months. The recovery time is so long due to the fact that your body has to adapt to the rapid weight loss and change in dietary habits. You can expect to lose 40-60 percent of your excess body weight within the first two years if you maintain a healthy diet and regularly exercise.

Q: What can I expect after gastric bypass?

A: After the procedure your doctor may not allow you to eat for one or two days to assist in the healing process. For the next 12 weeks you’ll be placed on a very strict diet which begins with liquids and eventually allows you to eat regular foods. Not only will gastric bypass help you lose weight, but it could also help with other conditions commonly associated with obesity such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The results of gastric bypass largely depend on your ability and commitment to make changes in your diet and exercise habits.

Q: What are the alternatives to gastric bypass?

A: Gastric bypass has a few surgical and non-surgical alternatives. Surgically, patients can look into lap-band gastric restriction and vertical banded gastroplasty. For the non-surgical alternatives, they include dietary therapy, exercise therapy, and behavior therapy.

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