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Dangers and Effectiveness of Gastric Bypass Surgery for Weight Loss

Updated on August 17, 2014

Gastric bypass surgery is the most common type of surgery for weight loss. Gastric bypass and other types of weight-loss surgery, are all referred to as bariatric surgery. They make surgical changes to your digestive system and stomach to reduce your food intake as well as how much nutrients you absorb, which are all aimed at achieving weight loss.

While that may sound interesting, gastric bypass surgery is not for all. Like all other major medical procedures, gastric bypass surgery has been linked to a number of health risks, side effects and even death. Additionally, the long-term effectiveness of gastric bypass surgery largely depends on your ability to make lasting changes in your daily lifestyle.

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Examination procedures to qualify for surgery

Before you can be booked for gastric bypass surgery, you must first be subjected to thorough examination to ensure its suitability for your condition and the level of risks it will expose you to. Doctors will insist that you try other alternative weight loss methods before admitting you for surgery. Morbidly obese persons are more likely to be approved for this type of surgery. However, they might be subject to various tests to check for various conditions including:

  • Rigorous psychological assessments
  • Blood chemistry tests
  • Heart and vascular tests
  • Respiratory system tests
  • Digestive system tests
  • Check for chronic diseases and even minor illnesses
  • Checks on endocrine and renal systems

Depending on the results of these tests, doctors will make a decision whether you will be better off doing surgery or not. Even if you are severely obese, surgery may not be the best option for you. Many doctors would not want to risk having a patient die during or shortly after surgery when the could have stayed how they were and live for a much longer time.

Effectiveness of gastric bypass surgery

Gastric bypass surgery for weight loss has been found to have very large success rate, but the weight loss effects are not always permanent. This procedure is very effective for treating people with cases of morbid obesity. But there has been cases of patients regaining weight shortly after recovery. This situation whereby the patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery regaining weight can be attributed to some unexpected changes that can occur in the stomach and digestive track of such individuals. Unfortunately these changes urges them to consume more calories, absorb more nutrients and hence continue to gain weight.

Even though gastric bypass surgery removes a portion of intestines and reduce the size of the stomach, the body can revert to its original form over time. Other basic factors can also lead to weight gain in patients. These include:

  • Psychological disorders causing them to crave food
  • Failure to adhere to stipulated diet plan
  • Pressure from family and friends to eat more
  • Failure of family to give emotional and physical support to the patient
  • Stressful life
  • Patient not believing that they will lose weight
  • Failure to drop bad habits like alcohol consumption, drug use and over-eating
  • Disorders such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) causing them to be terrified of possibly changing their body size and figure.

The best way to avoid this weight regain is to adhere to the outlined lifestyle and diet plans recommended by a doctor or dietician.Gastric bypass surgery will be as effective as you want it to be. There is so much and no more that medical professionals can do. It will be the responsibility of the patient and their family to make weight loss a complete success.

Risks associated with gastric bypass surgery

Sometimes, a second operation might be necessary to correct the anomalies, but the risks associated with this surgery make this option unpopular. Some of the risks associated with gastric bypass surgery include;

  • Leakages in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Various infections and even sepsis
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Blood clots and stroke
  • Respiratory problems
  • Heart attack
  • Various allergic reactions to treatments
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to reduced food intake
  • Premature infant birth
  • Death (though rare)

Some medical experts are of the opinion that the health risks associated with cases of obesity such as heart attacks, heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, depression and so on, outweigh the health risks associated with undergoing gastric bypass surgery.

The dangers and effectiveness of gastric bypass surgery for weight loss would almost be even on a level scale. The best way to successfully lose weight is doing so the traditional way, dieting, restricting the intake of high calorie foods and beverages and exercising. Completely ignoring taking care of your health to rely on medical professionals is a no no. With everything there are risks and one must not take undue risks that can end their lives when it is unnecessary. Obesity is a disease and like cancer and other illnesses, there are various ways of treating them. If you choose to undertake bariatric surgery, consider it an opportunity to change your life for the better. Try your best to life a healthy lifestyle, eat right and exercise so you will never have to go under the knife to lose weight again.


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