You will receive a thorough physical and mental health examination prior to surgery. You must be ready to commit to careful nutritional intake and exercise following surgery. You will work with a nutritionist to learn about healthy eating before and after your procedure.
Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is performed with general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make several small incisions to insert and reposition the laparoscope during your procedure. The surgery consists of a few steps. First, your surgeon will make your stomach smaller by dividing it with surgical staples. Your new stomach “the pouch” will only hold small amounts of food.
The second step entails rerouting the small intestine. Normally, the first part of the small intestine is connected to the bottom of the stomach and functions to absorb calories and nutrients. With surgery, the first part of the small intestine is bypassed so that fewer calories are absorbed to increase weight reduction. Instead, the new pouch is connected to the second part of the small intestine, called a Roux limb. Finally, the Roux limb is attached to the end of the first part of the small intestine so that digestive juices from the bottom of the stomach can aid in digestion.
You will need to stay in the hospital a few days following your surgery. Because laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is minimally invasive, you can expect less pain, less bleeding, fewer complications, and a quicker recovery time than with traditional gastric bypass surgery methods. The laparoscopic procedure will allow you to get out of bed and begin walking earlier.
It is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully following your laparoscopic gastric bypass procedure. You will need to eat liquid or pureed food for several weeks and gradually advance to eating solid foods. Initially, your new pouch will only hold about a tablespoon of food but will expand to contain about a cup of food. You should consume liquids and solid food separately and avoid food that is high in fat or carbohydrates. You should not drink alcohol.
You can resume exercising about six weeks after your procedure. You will need to attend all of your follow-up visits. Your doctor and nutritionist will monitor your weight loss progress. It can be helpful to attend a support group. Most people attain significant weight loss after about 1 ½ to 2 years.