The length of a gastric bypass operation can vary considerably from patient to patient. In most cases, the procedure will take between one and three hours but should complications arise, it may take much longer.
A gastric bypass operation will either be carried out using laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery or through open surgery. A laparoscopic bypass which involves four or five tiny incisions, is preferable as the procedure will be shorter, less invasive, and present less risk of complications. Recovery time will also be significantly shorter.
However, open surgery, where single, a longer incision is made, is still widely used by surgeons. Patients who are severely overweight or have previously undergone surgery on the abdomen, are not suitable candidates for laparoscopic surgery. In such cases, open surgery is the better option.
Gastrointestinal bypass operation using the laparoscopic technique involves the use of small instruments, guided by a special telescope (laparoscope) with a camera. During open surgery, as the name may suggests, the surgeon creates a large opening in the abdomen in order to both see and access the stomach.
A bypass operation involves the creation of a pouch at the top of your stomach, separating it from the lower part of your stomach. Surgical staples are used to hold this pouch in place. A new opening from this pouch is made, which is then connected to a section of your small intestine. This means that the food you eat will bypass your old stomach and the first part of your intestine.
After the gastric bypass operation is complete, the incisions in your abdomen are closed with either stitches or small metal clips. You will then be taken to a ward or a private room to recover.
Common Bariatrics Questions
What are the side effects of a gastrointestinal bypass operation?
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