Dramatic weight loss experienced after a gastric bypass surgery can improve your quality of life, boost your attitude, and give you new hope for the future. Einstein Healthcare Network offers gastric bypass surgery in Philadelphia and Montgomery County at its hospitals in Elkins Park and East Norriton.
One of the biggest advances in gastric bypass surgery is the technique used by Einstein Bariatrics – the laparoscopic approach.
This minimally invasive technique offers several advantages over traditional gastric bypass surgery:
- Small incisions. Generally only five tiny incisions are necessary. Four of these cuts are about 1/4″ long and one is 1″ long. Smaller incisions result in less chance of infection. Also, your risk of developing a hernia is less than one percent.
- Fast. Average operating room time is about one hour. Less time in the operating room means less anesthesia and anesthesia-related complications.
- Minimal pain. Directly after bariatric surgery you will be sore for a few hours. You may need Tylenol with Codeine the day after surgery. Many patients do not require any medications for pain by the time they go home.
- Faster recovery. If you are like most patients, you will be walking the day of gastric bypass Your discomfort is easily controlled, and you are at lower risk for developing blood clots, pneumonia or other complications that can result from prolonged immobility.
- Quick return to work. You can likely return to work within a week.
Our gastric bypass surgery program was the first in the region to use the da Vinci Surgical System for robotic assistance during a gastric bypass procedure. Advantages of robotic surgery include:
- Magnified views and better control to navigate instruments through tiny incisions.
- Less invasive access to the surgical site.
- Faster healing time with decreased scarring and blood loss for minimal pain.
Our Bariatric experts are ready to assist you on your weight loss journey. Make an appointment at one of our conveniently located in Philadelphia and Montgomery County offices to meet with one of our weight loss specialists.
The Gastric Bypass Operation
During a gastric bypass operation, the stomach is cut to create a small pouch. The remaining stomach and first one to two feet of small intestine are then surgically bypassed.
The unused stomach remains in your body without any long-term problems. In fact, the unused stomach produces important enzymes.
One byproduct of the procedure is less absorption of food nutrients. Lifelong follow-up with a bariatric program is mandatory to monitor and avoid complications. Your Einstein nutritionist will recommend specific supplements to prevent long-term problems.
Changes That Occur After Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery can cause changes in behavior. Patients often say that they lose their old food cravings and are less hungry in general. Rarely do people feel deprived of food.
These behavioral changes are partially due to altered hormones and neural signals in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract that communicate with hunger centers in you brain.
Meanwhile, the small stomach pouch restricts how much food you can consume, and you feel full faster.
Weight loss after the gastric bypass may also be brought on by the dumping syndrome. Dumping syndrome causes intolerance to eating sweets. Dumping may result in lightheadedness, flushing, heart palpitations, diarrhea and other symptoms. Some patients lose some or all of their sweet sensitivity over time.
Significant Improvements to Health and Lifestyle
Numerous studies have shown the gastric bypass results in long-term weight loss. Average weight loss usually peaks at 18 to 24 months after surgery, but half of all the weight loss often occurs in the first six months.
The gastric bypass surgery can improve or cure diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, venous stasis disease, certain types of headaches, heartburn, sleep apnea and many other disorders.
Most importantly, the gastric bypass has demonstrated significant improvements in quality of health and life expectancy.
Be aware, there are significant risks to any major operation. A discussion with your surgeon is important in understanding potential dangers presented by gastric bypass surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions about Gastric Bypass Surgery
Will I be able to eat normally after the gastric bypass?
You will certainly eat differently. You may experience the following:
- Less hunger. This is most significant right after the operation, and it changes over time
- Feel full after eating small amounts of food
You can eat regular food (with the exception of sweets), and many of your previous food cravings will vanish.
In the first several months after the bariatric operation you need to adapt to your new eating style. There is a lot of trial and error in food selection. Within a few months, eating is much easier.
Are there strict dietary regimens and rules I will have to follow in order to stop regaining weight?
There is no rigid diet to adhere to after bariatric surgery.
But you will need to pay attention to portion control. You’ll need to get used to eating smaller amounts of food that can be digested safely in your smaller stomach. It may be difficult for your digestive system to tolerate foods that are high in fat or added sugars.
Our philosophy is to form a partnership with you, through education and good bariatric patient support, so that you can create good eating habits to reach and maintain your weight control goal.
Is exercise important?
Being physically active, more than exercise, is important for maintaining the lost weight.
Regular exercise is helpful in losing weight and improving your health. Becoming more active as the weight is lost will help you realize the benefits of a healthier weight and increase your long-term success.
Look at increased activity as one of the rewards for being successful with weight control. Being able to walk upstairs without your knees and back hurting, and without getting severely short of breath, is a wonderful thing – enjoy it.
How long is the hospital stay?
Most patients leave the hospital after spending one night. The rest typically leave after spending two nights in the hospital.
What happens to the bypassed stomach?
It stays in your body. It still has a blood supply and produces important enzymes and hormones.
What are the expected weight loss results?
On average, after a gastric bypass, our patients lose about 70 to 80 percent of their excess weight during a two-year period. Weight loss is extremely rapid after the first six months and then tapers off.
Some patients will regain five to ten percent of their excess weight during the two- to five-year mark.
Long-term studies have documented persistent weight loss over a 10- to 20-year follow-up. Gastric bypass is one of the best-studied operations for long-term weight loss.
Will I need plastic surgery after the procedure?
Patients who lose significant weight may want to have excess skin removed. There is not much you can do to prevent this excess skin from becoming a cosmetic problem.
We recommend waiting 18 to 24 months before considering cosmetic surgery. We can recommend plastic surgeons that specialize in this type of treatment.