Gastric Bypass Surgery: What Happens After?

Results & After Surgery Guide to Gastric Bypass

Why Recovery, Results are an Important Consideration: Weight loss surgery is one way of managing obesity and providing an individual with a fresh start at healthy living. It is a big decision and understanding the options as well as the related results and expected recovery time are essential. Every individual will have a different experience when it comes to both recovery time and results. Experts believe that bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment option available for morbid obesity. It has proven results, successful weight loss and the improvement and/or resolution of many obesity-related medical conditions (comorbidities).

Gastric Bypass Surgery

  • Possible Side Effects

     It’s important to note that most patients do not experience any serious problems after their gastric bypass surgery (only about 10% of all patients have any complications at all). Some of the most common side effects following gastric bypass surgery are gallstones, wound infections and constipation. Some more serious side effects from surgery include blood clots, extreme abdominal pain, bleeding in the stool and leakages. If any of these things occur, consult your weight loss surgeon ASAP.
  • Lifestyle Changes

     In order to reach full recovery you will need to be willing to make adjustments to your lifestyle. You have to know your limit of intake of food and adhere to it in order to avoid being ill and to make the most of the surgery. Understanding nutrition is vital to making sure you are putting healthy and useful foods into your body first as there is little room for anything else after the surgery. It’s important to understand that you must chew your food thoroughly and hydrate yourself throughout the day for proper digestion. Generally a meal should take about 20 minutes total for one cup of food.

Expected Results: Short Term

Results for gastric bypass patients vary depending on the individual and their overall condition. Other factors that can change the outcome include the surgery itself as well as how well the patient adheres to required lifestyle changes after the surgery. Studies have shown that a loss of excess weight between 60% and 70% after the first year and 77% and 83% after two years post-surgery. In addition to these impressive weight loss numbers, there is an estimated improvement or resolution of obesity related comorbidities of 95% after one year. This means that 95% of the health issues individuals had as a result of obesity where resolved or improved after the surgery.

Gastric Bypass SurgeryThe U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health performed a 15-year study on gastric bypass patients looking at their long-term success and results. They evaluated outcomes over an extended period of time to see how much patients lost after surgery and how much they actually kept off. The study looked at 3,227 patients with the average age of 47 and an average body mass index of slightly over 43. 714 or 22.1% of these patients completed the entire 10 year follow-up period. After 15 years post-op, 47.1% of excess weight was maintained from these patients.

These statistics focus on an extremely high success rate for gastric bypass surgery. It not only looks at short-term weight loss, but also how much weight loss patients have maintained. There was a low mortality rate at less than .2% chance and nearly 40% of patients who lost excess weight kept it off in the long term (over 10 years later).

Expected Results: Long Term

Gastric bypass surgery has some long term benefits that can dramatically change the lives of patients. Most patients that have the surgical procedure experience a 70% loss in excess body weight. This is important for many patients who have life-threatening diseases. Through this weight loss, many individuals find confidence and increased self-image with this weight loss. While the surgery isn’t going to change their life immediately, it will allow them to learn how to make better food choices and feel as if they accomplished goals they’ve set for themselves in terms of their health.

According to a Journal of the American Medical Association study, 100 morbidly obese patients who had gastric bypass surgery compared to 100 morbidly obese patients who had lap band saw 64% excess body weight loss compared to just an average of 36% in lap band patients. In this same study 86 of gastric bypass patients lost more than 40% of excess weight where just 29 of the lap band patients managed to lose 40% of theirs.

Related: Expected Weight Loss of Gastric Bypass – ObesityReporter

In both of these groups during this study, 34 patients had diabetes mellitus type 2. In the gastric bypass surgery patients, 76% or 26 patients managed to significantly improve their Type II Diabetes. In the lap band group, 17 patients or 50% managed to improve theirs. One years after this study began six of eight patients who had been using insulin in the gastric bypass group managed to stop using it. In the lap band group, 1 patient out of 6 managed to discontinue their insulin use. This is a 75% improvement in gastric bypass surgery patients and just 17% improvement in Lap Band patients.

Medscape reports that nearly 1/3 of all obese patients suffering from Type II Diabetes who had gastric bypass surgery were cured of their diabetes treatments, meaning the disease was in remission and no longer needed medicine for as long as six years after surgery. Studies are constantly being released that back up this information that show that patients who maintain their weight loss for years following their procedure.

Ultimately these studies prove that different types of weight loss surgeries are more successful at improving or resolving various obesity-related medical conditions. The gastric bypass surgery has many positive effects which affect a patient’s long term health. While weight loss is never guaranteed in these types of surgeries, they are designed to help patients significantly in their overall health and for a long term basis.