Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure that involves having the stomach divided into two sections so that permanent weight loss can be achieved. The small intestine is then split in two and connected to both halves of the stomach. This procedure results in a major reduction of overall stomach volume. The resulting upper stomach pouch is about the size of your thumb. This operation is only prescribed for individuals who are morbidly obese.
Gastric bypass surgery is used to treat conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. Weight loss is dramatic. Long term moralities rates can be reduced by over 40% after completing surgery. Gastric bypass surgery is prescribed for individuals who have failed to lose enough weight through diet and exercise alone. The success rate for those undergoing the procedure is improved if the individual has managed to change their diet and lose some weight prior to the procedure. Surgery is the best tool available to treat morbidly obese individuals and help them achieve permanent weight management goals and permanently change long-standing eating behavior.
Laparoscopy was first used for gastric bypass surgery in 1993.Over 200,000 bariatric procedures were completed in 2008. This number has been steadily rising as more surgeons are using laparoscopic procedures to perform the surgery. Laparoscopy is safer and the recovery time associated with the procedure is much shorter than an open procedure. It has the added benefits of reduced scarring, shortened hospital stay, reduced discomfort and less chance for a hernia to develop. It has steadily risen in popularity, even though gastric bypass is one of the most difficult procedures that can be done using laparoscopic means.
The gastric bypass procedure is easy to understand. A small pouch about the size of a thumb is sectioned off from the remaining large portion of the stomach. This is accomplished by placing staples between each half or by dividing the stomach completely in half. Both halves are then reconnected to the small intestines. Total division is preferred to ensure that the two halves of the stomach do not grow back together, thereby negating the benefits of the procedure.
After a gastric bypass procedure the size of the stomach is reduced by over 90%. Normal stomach volume can exceed 1000 ml. After surgery the stomach size is reduced to around 15 ml. The bypass pouch is formed from the upper part of the stomach that is least susceptible to stretching. This prevents it from stretching too much over time. Eventually the small intestine will be able to hold a larger volume of food. By the time that happens, weight loss will have been achieved. This allows the body to maintain the lower weight.
Once a very small amount of food has been ingested, the stomach pouch expands and sends signals to the brain to say that it is full. The patient feels as if he has eaten a lot of food, in reality he has eaten just a few bites. This feeling of fullness is typically followed by a feeling of satiety and a loss of appetite. If patients continues to eat after receiving these signals from the brain they may feel increasing discomfort or they may begin to vomit. It is important for those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery to eat 5-6 small meals each day. It is also very important that these patients do not “graze” all day long. Meals sizes start at ¼ to ½ cup per meal right after surgery and slowly increase to 1 cup per meal by the end of the first year. This requires a complete change in dietary behavior. If the dietary intake has been reduced prior to surgery this dramatic difference can be minimized.
Phentermine is a psycho-stimulant that is very similar in composition to an amphetamine. It is used as a short term method to suppress appetite. It is prescribed to obese individuals, along with diet and exercise, to help reduce weight. This medication can be useful prior to gastric bypass surgery. It can help reduce the desire for food. This can help those about to undergo surgery by reducing caloric intake prior to the procedure. This can make the dramatic stomach capacity reduction feel less severe than it would if Phentermine had not been taken prior to the procedure.
Phentermine works by reducing the sense of hunger a person perceives. It also releases both epinephrine and norepinephrine which helps to break down the fat cells that are stored in the body fat. This helps the individual lose weight and reduces the feeling of hunger. Phentermine gives you energy and can be very useful for obtaining weight loss prior to surgery. After gastric bypass surgery Phentermine can be useful to offset physiological effects associated with the procedure. Depression often affects those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery. Diet limitations and low energy levels can make this condition worse. Phentermine can help increase energy levels and help alleviate some of these side effects.
Gastric Bypass surgery – long term health benefits
- Over 70% of patients see an improvement in their blood pressure results. Blood pressure medications can usually be eliminated follow the procedure.
- Sleep apnea can be cured and the incidence of snoring is greatly reduced or eliminated following a gastric bypass procedure.
- Up to 90% of patients experience a complete reversal of type 2 diabetes. Medication for diabetes can typically be eliminated.
- Pre-diabetics can decrease their chances of developing type 2 diabetes more than 30 times over that of those who have not had the procedure.
- Almost all patients experience a relief in gastro-esophageal reflex disease.
- Leg swelling associated with venous thrombolytic disease is often alleviated.
- Lower back and joint pain are often improved or eliminated in almost all patients.
- Mortality can be reduced by over 40%.
- Life expectancy can be increased up to 15 years.
- Phentermine taken prior to surgery can help alter eating habits and makes adjusting to the new stomach size easier for patients.
- Phentermine can increase energy levels and help alleviate the feeling of low energy and resulting depression that can often follow gastric bypass surgery.