The Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass is performed through several small incisions, a technique that benefits the patient by resulting in a shorter hospital stay, an earlier return to normal activities, and less scarring and pain. A recent clinical study reported a diminished incidence of wound herniation and infection using the laparoscopic method.
After 10 years, many gastric bypass patients have maintained a weight loss of about 100 pounds. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), obesity surgery offers the only proven permanent weight loss solution.
Additional clinical research has shown that this weight loss leads to a significant improvement in the health status of many gastric bypass patients. One study demonstrated that many patients suffering from type II diabetes no longer need insulin therapy. Patients who could not previously have necessary joint replacements, became good candidates for the operation, and generally enjoyed excellent results. Other medical conditions that can improve after gastric bypass include back and joint pain, sleep apnea, leg swelling, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, asthma and elevated cholesterol levels.
The NIH defines obesity as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI can be determined by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. Based on the NIH definition of obesity, 39.8 million, or nearly one-quarter, of adults in the U.S. are obese. Between 1991 and 1998, obesity increased in every state of U.S., across all genders, races, ethnicities, age groups and education levels.
Obesity surgery is only recommended for people with a BMI of 40 or greater, approximately 100 pounds overweight for men or 80 pounds for women. People who have a BMI between 35 and 40 and an obesity-related disease such as sleep apnea, diabetes, or heart disease, may also be candidates for obesity surgery. But for others, greater efforts toward weight control, such as changes in eating habits, behavior modification, and increasing physical activity, may be more appropriate.
No method - including surgery - can guarantee weight loss or weight loss maintenance. Successful weight loss is only possible when a patient commits fully to a lifetime of behavioral changes and medical follow-up.
Like any major operation, the gastric bypass may present serious risks, including the possibility of infection and complications from general anesthesia. Patients should consult with their doctors to find out if obesity surgery is appropriate for them.