Gastric Bypass is the most commonly performed weight loss surgery. The surgeon creates a small 1-oz. pouch and connects it to the small intestine, separating food and digestive juices by 3-5 feet.
This procedure significantly restricts the volume of food that can be consumed. It produces mild malabsorption and may result in “dumping syndrome” when sugars or fats are eaten. Patients are usually hospitalized for 2-3 days and return to work after 2-3 weeks.
Gastric Bypass requires a lifetime supplement regimen including a multivitamin, vitamin B12 and calcium (plus iron for menstruating women). For the first 12-18 months following surgery, patients must consume a very low calorie diet. Long-term dietary requirements include small, high-protein, low calorie meals; avoidance of sugar and fats to prevent dumping syndrome; and vitamin supplements to prevent vitamin and protein deficiencies.
This type of weight loss surgery is most effective for patients with a BMI of 35-55 kg/m2 and those who have a preference for sweets.