The majority of patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery find success in keeping the weight off, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The study found that gastric bypass patients saw long-term, positive weight loss results from the surgery.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than one-third of American adults are obese and at risk for developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. While diet and exercise are often the weight loss measures that doctors recommend first, genetic factors play a key role in the results of various treatments, and lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to help some patients lose weight and weight loss surgery may be an option for achieving better results.
What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass, or bariatric surgery, is one of the most efficient ways for clinically obese patients to lose weight. The procedure involves creating a small pouch (generally around 30 millimeters in volume) by dividing the top of the stomach from the rest of the stomach. The bottom of the small intestine is then attached to the smaller pouch where stomach acid and enzymes break down food for digestion. The newly created pouch works by creating a smaller stomach that only holds a certain amount of food, absorbing fewer calories and changing hormones in the stomach that suppress hunger. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, gastric bypass procedures result in patients experiencing 60 to 80% weight loss after the procedure.
|Gastric Bypass process. Source: va.gov|
Gastric Bypass Surgery Effectiveness
Researchers at the Duke University School of Medicine examined 1,787 veterans who had gastric bypass surgery compared to 5,305 who had other procedures, such as adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. After analyzing the data, scientists discovered that those who had the gastric bypass surgery lost around 98 pounds on average, which is more weight than those who had non-surgical procedures. The study also discovered that the majority of those who underwent gastric bypass surgery experienced long-term results, with only 3 percent of participants gaining most of the weight back during the ten-year-long study.
Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Right for Me?
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery recommends gastric bypass surgery to clinically obese patients who have a body mass index (BMI) that is greater than 40 or who are more than 100 pounds overweight. Doctors may also recommend gastric bypass surgery if your BMI is greater than 35 and you have at least two obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory problems, fatty liver, osteoarthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, or heart disease. You can find out you BMI using the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery’s online calculator. Like most surgeries, the risks of this type of procedure must be examined closely to see if the benefits are worth the potential dangers.