What are the Pros and Cons of Gastric Bypass Surgery for Obesity?

Jacob Queen
Jacob Queen
A scalpel is a small, sharp knife that is used in surgeries to make incisions.
A scalpel is a small, sharp knife that is used in surgeries to make incisions.

Undergoing gastric bypass surgery for obesity is known to reduce a person’s weight significantly. Other than losing weight, the individual will often gain significant benefits, including a reduction in blood pressure, and improved blood sugar levels. This surgery also tends to cause a number of problems, however. People who have gastric bypass surgery also often suffer from such conditions as nutritional disorders, bowel disruptions, and surgical complications. Some of the negative side effects of gastric bypass surgery for obesity are so severe that many doctors are hesitant to use it except in very dangerous situations.

A gastric bypass is a form of open surgery requiring hand tools.
A gastric bypass is a form of open surgery requiring hand tools.

When doctors perform gastric bypass surgery for obesity, they are actually shrinking the person’s stomach. This means the patient tends to eat less food, and he loses weight. Sometimes the weight loss associated with gastric bypass can by very significant. People who have suffered with obesity problems all their lives will often rapidly lose weight until they become very thin. If they have other health problems related to obesity, those will usually diminish as well.

In rare cases, patients may experience serious complications following gastric bypass surgery.
In rare cases, patients may experience serious complications following gastric bypass surgery.

The benefits of this surgery can save lives. Sometimes people with extreme obesity can become so heavy that it could be considered an emergency situation. When people go over a certain weight, they could be in imminent danger of a heart attack or some other problem. Some people also have severe joint problems in their legs from carrying their weight around. These people can sometimes turn to gastric bypass surgery as a way to drastically improve their health overall.

Gastric bypass for obesity can also have some relatively severe side effects. When the stomach shrinks, it has the potential to totally disrupt the digestive system. People aren’t able to take in as much food, which may be a good thing when they’re obese, but if they become thin, a smaller stomach can be a hindrance. An individual might find himself in a situation in which he can’t get enough nutrition, and this could do damage to his entire body. According to some studies, this happens with relative frequency. In other cases, people may suffer problems from stomach acid or bowel disorders as well.

Another potential downside of gastric bypass surgery for obesity is the frequency of surgical complications. It is not generally uncommon for people to require multiple surgeries in order to correct things that go wrong during the initial surgery. These problems are often fairly serious or even life threatening because most things involving the stomach have the potential for far-reaching consequences for the body.

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    • A scalpel is a small, sharp knife that is used in surgeries to make incisions.
      A scalpel is a small, sharp knife that is used in surgeries to make incisions.
    • A gastric bypass is a form of open surgery requiring hand tools.
      A gastric bypass is a form of open surgery requiring hand tools.
    • In rare cases, patients may experience serious complications following gastric bypass surgery.
      In rare cases, patients may experience serious complications following gastric bypass surgery.