Pros and Cons of Gastric Bypass Surgery – Dr. Jacqueline Osuna

Pros and Cons of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is a restrictive weight loss surgery procedure that restricts how much food your stomach can actually hold. This will affect how many calories you consume and are absorbed into your bloodstream affecting your weight loss. Because it not only affects the amount of the food you can eat but also the calories it is considered one of the most successful bariatric surgery types in terms of how much patients lose after surgery.

The most common type of gastric bypass surgery is called Roux-en-Y. This procedure is performed either laparoscopically or through a larger incision, depending on the patient.

Pros of Surgery

Gastric Bypass Procedure

One of the biggest advantages is that the surgery has been proven to be successful for dramatic weight loss. Many patients even continue to lose weight two years after surgery. Some even maintain a weight loss of 60-70% of weight for 10 years. This dramatic weight loss contributes to the improvement of various health complications from high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and type II diabetes. Many osteoarthritis patients also see improvement in their daily life. Extreme weight loss will also increase a patient’s self-esteem.

Cons of Surgery

Much like any other weight loss surgery, the procedure is just a portion of the lifestyle change. A patient must commit to a lifestyle change where the weight will be lost over time and maintained after the goal weight is met.

Some patients develop malnourishment or anemia after surgery due to how the gastric bypass affects the digestive system and how it absorbs calories. These individuals may have to supplement their food intake with various vitamins and minerals. Many patients are more prone to gallstones after surgery. Some individuals experience dumping syndrome after surgery where some foods high in sugar may cause them acid reflux, nausea, or diarrhea.

As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications. Some complications associated with gastric bypass surgery include bleeding, infection, and leakage. One of the most dangerous complications is pulmonary embolism where a blood clot occurs in the lungs. For a patient’s entire life, they are at a slight risk for an intestinal obstruction. Make sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have about these prior to surgery.

Typically this weight loss surgery is never reversed as the revisional surgery is more complicated than the initial surgery and has more risks associated with it.