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Gastric bypass

Gastric bypass surgery is an aggressive surgery meant to facilitate significant weight loss.

Before You Go

Questions to ask your doctor:

  • Will gastric bypass surgery help me lose weight?
  • Can I get liposuction after gastric bypass surgery? Can I speak with a nutritionist?

Pre-procedure prep for gastric bypass: You'll be given a blood test two weeks before surgery to evaluate your health. Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen or herbal supplements one week prior to surgery. Smoking before or after surgery will slow recovery.

On the day of treatment: Your diet will be restricted to clear liquids 48 hours before gastric bypass surgery. Stick to water, apple juice, cranberry juice, decaffeinated tea, Crystal Light, ginger ale, and 7-Up. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before surgery.

What To Expect

Gastric bypass surgery can be completed through open surgery or laparoscopy. The former method is more intrusive, requiring a surgeon to cut the stomach open. Laparoscopy is less invasive and reduces scarring.

In laparoscopic surgery, six small incisions are made through which tiny instruments are inserted, including a small camera that projects the inside of the stomach onto a video monitor, allowing a surgeon to access the stomach and small intestine.

Regardless, gastric bypass surgery requires three to five days of recovery and rehabilitation under the care of a physician.

Who should do it: Gastric bypass surgery is performed by a licensed bariatric surgeon.

Duration: Gastric bypass surgery takes between two and three hours to complete. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery takes longer but reduces scarring.

How Painful Is It?

Gastric bypass surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so a patient should remain unconscious for the duration of the procedure. Abdominal pain, swelling, and bruising can be persistent and severe afterwards. Many patients vomit the day after surgery.

Options for anesthesia: Gastric bypass is performed under general anesthesia. After surgery, pain medicine is delivered through an IV directly into the veins.

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