Gastric Bypass Surgery is often the most effective treatment for patients suffering from morbid obesity and have had no success losing weight through non-surgical means.
The size of the patient’s stomach is decreased so that only small portions of food can be consumed and and part of the intestines are bypassed meaning that less calories are absorbed.
Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Right for Me?
If you are morbidly obese or are overweight with a co-morbid condition, gastric bypass surgery may be a suitable treatment. Within the first two years patients can expect to lose between 70-80 percent of their excess body weight.
Individuals who suffer from excessive (super) obesity and multiple co-mordid disorders may not qualify for this treatment, due to the high surgical risks associated with undergoing anesthesia. Decisions relating to the suitability of this procedure are made on a case-by-case basis.
Advantages of Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery facilitates weight loss in three ways by:
- Limiting the amount of food which can be consumed by the patient.
- Restricting the amount of nutrients the body can absorb.
- Altering the level of gut hormones, leading patients to feel fuller after small meals.
Because the procedure for gastric bypass surgery is laparoscopic it is less invasive, reducing the amount of scarring and ensuring a quicker recovery.
There are risks involved in gastric bypass surgery. Approximately 10 percent of patients may suffer from minor complications. For example:
- Digestive problems.
In roughly 1-5 percent of cases patients can experience severe complications, such as:
- Blood clots.
- Heart attack.
- Leaking in the surgical connection between the intestines and the stomach.
- Serious infection or bleeding.
What is involved in Gastric Bypass Surgery?
During gastric bypass surgery Dr Dolan will:
- Make small incisions in the abdomen.
- Insert specialised surgical tools, including a camera, through the incisions.
- Divide the stomach into two portions, one large and one small.
- Sew or ‘staple’ the smaller section to make an egg-sized pouch.
- Create an opening between the stomach and the intestine.
- Attach the small intestine to the small stomach pouch (the Roux-en-Y surgical technique).
Preparing for Gastric Bypass Surgery
Before the procedure Dr Dolan will run a series of tests to ensure that patients are ready for surgery. Patients will need to follow an eating plan set out by their surgeon and dietitian.
Dr Dolan will go over the specific instructions for preoperative care, but generally patients will need to:
- Go on a liquid diet a week before surgery.
- Avoid eating after midnight, the day before surgery.
- Ask a friend or family member to be at the hospital for support and comfort.
Patients may also want to purchase the foods, drinks, and medications they will require after surgery.
What to Expect After Gastric Bypass Surgery?
After surgery there are three stages in the recovery and treatment process.
During the first month patients must:
- Stay in hospital for 2-3 days.
- Adhere to a strict liquid only diet for two weeks, before moving on to pureed foods.
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Rest for two weeks before resuming normal activities.
For the second month patients will:
- Advance to a solid diet, gradually reintroducing normal foods to their diet.
- Experience rapid weight loss of 5-7 kilograms per month.
From the third month patients will adopt a long-term diet plan designed by their surgeon and dietitian to help them maintain their desired weight.
In the first two years after surgery patients typically lose between 70-80 percent of their excess body weight. There is a chance that a small number of patients may gain ten percent of their body weight back in the fifth year.
To avoid this weight gain patients can:
- Sign up for nutritional counseling.
- Continue follow up with their surgeon and dietitian.
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
What are the Costs or Funding Options for Gastric Bypass Surgery?
There are a number of factors which may influence the final cost of surgery. Dr Dolan will be able to provide a more detailed quote after consultation.
Patients can choose from a variety of payment options available depending on their financial circumstances and insurance status:
- For patients with private insurance out of pocket surgery cost is $4,500.
- For patients without private insurance the $16,000-18,000.
Medicare rebates are available for this procedure and our surgery offers payment plans for patients.