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How Effective is Gastric Bypass for Weight Loss?

By H. Lo
Updated May 17, 2024
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Undergoing gastric bypass for weight loss is effective, but the surgical procedure is not meant to be an instant solution to weight problems. The patient will need to put in a lot work and dedication to lose the weight and keep it off. After surgery, the patient will lose weight quickly, especially if assisted by proper care in diet and exercise. Within the first two years, he or she will lose about half of his or her excess weight, possibly more. After this, weight loss will gradually lessen.

Not just anybody can undergo the surgery. Usually, a patient is granted gastric bypass for weight loss if he or she is obese, and regular methods of weight loss, such as dieting and exercise, have proven to be ineffective. In addition, he or she might have health problems associated with being at an unhealthy weight, which gastric bypass can possibly resolve.

A person who wants gastric bypass for weight loss will need to go through a screening process where his or her mental and medical states are examined. He or she must be psychologically stable and capable of conforming to lifestyle changes that include eating differently. Also, he or she must not have a dependency on alcohol. Other factors that might be considered in the screening include age and length of obesity.

Gastric bypass surgery is a major medical procedure in which the patient’s stomach is made smaller and digestion of food is altered. With a smaller stomach, the patient is only able to eat minimal amounts of food at a time. During digestion, the food bypasses parts of the stomach and small intestine than it would normally pass through.

There are definitely many pros and cons of undergoing gastric bypass for weight loss. On the positive side, the procedure does enable the patient to lose excess weight, though how much is determined by the patient’s commitment. This loss of weight can improve the patient’s overall health and mobility. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes are just a few of the health problems gastric bypass surgery can help alleviate.

The cons of gastric bypass surgery include surgical risks and the development of medical conditions, including those associated with lack of minerals and vitamins. Since after surgery, food does not pass through parts of the small intestine that absorb most of these essential nutrients, a deficiency might occur. Another negative aspect of gastric bypass surgery is that the stomach is smaller now so it can only hold a certain amount of food or water at one time. If the patient eats too much food, he or she will vomit.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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