Researching the various procedures is both helpful and advisable when deciding to have weight loss surgery and talking to former patients and gaining an insight of both life during and after surgery is hugely invaluable. This is where OBS Group comes in. Our group is made up of individuals who have had all three types of surgery and we are here to provide you with insights into our lives before and after our operations.
Your surgeon will make four or five small cuts on your upper abdomen through which small instruments can be passed; this is known as keyhole or laparoscopic surgery. This means that there are no large wounds which reduces the risks of surgery and allows for a quicker recovery time after surgery. The small instruments are guided by a special telescope with a camera in order to perform this procedure. Finally each of your cuts are either glued or stitched following surgery.
There are two parts to this operation In the first part, the size of the stomach is reduced to make a small stomach pouch by stapling part of the stomach together. The second part of the operation divides the small bowel so that the first part of the bowel is by-passed (the duodenum and the first part of the jejunum). What is left of the small bowel is then pulled up and attached to the newly formed pouch (see picture). Food no longer passes through the entire length of the intestines but instead leaves the small pouch and enters the second part of the jejunum bypassing the first part of the small bowel. The first part of the bowel is then reattached further downstream to enable gastric juices to mix with food, which is necessary to help absorb nutrients.
How does it work?
There are two ways in which the gastric bypass can help you to become healthier and lose weight. The first is by reducing the size of your stomach from 2-3 litres to 20-30mls which helps to limit the amount that you can eat. It also takes longer for food to leave your pouch which means you will feel satisfied with small portions. The second reason for weight loss is due to changes in a gut hormone called ‘ghrelin’. This hormone is produced in the part of the stomach known as the ‘fundus’. This is the section which has now been bypassed. The reduction in this hormone causes a reduction in appetite so you feel less hungry. Other hormones are also likely to be involved which help you to feel satisfied with smaller portions of food. As a result of these hormonal changes you can experience dramatic improvements to your blood sugar control even before you lose weight. This means that if you are diabetic you can reduce or stop your diabetic medications soon after your surgery.