Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
December 16, 2021
Gastric Bypass Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Once you start to consider bariatric surgery as a method of weight loss, you may be asking yourself a million questions. Below is a list of a few common questions about gastric bypass surgery. 

How is gastric bypass surgery different from other weight-loss surgeries?

Gastric bypass is a procedure that surgically separates the stomach into two sections: a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower pouch. Once separated, the upper pouch is connected directly to the small intestines. This procedure helps restrict the amount of food a person can take in while also affecting the way that food is absorbed by the body. It also impacts the hormones that help to decrease the feeling of being hungry. 

What are the risks?

Gastric bypass surgery, along with any other major surgery will have risks. Some risks can include: 

  • Infection 
  • Blood clots, 
  • Issues of the lungs 
  • Gastrointestinal leaks
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Hernias
  • Malnutrition
  • Ulcers
  • Gallstones

These risk factors can occur during any abdominal surgery.

How overweight do you have to be to undergo weight loss surgery and at what age can you get gastric bypass surgery?

To qualify for weight loss surgery, doctors typically look at your BMI or body mass index. Body mass index is calculated by measuring a patient’s height and weight. People who are considered overweight have a BMI of 25 or over. An obese BMI starts at 30. People with a BMI of 40 or greater are typically approved for bariatric surgery. In terms of pounds, that translates to being about 100 pounds overweight. Patients who have weight-related issues can be approved with a BMI of 35. The age range to qualify for weight loss surgery is between the ages of 16 and 70 years old.

How long is the recovery process?

Recovery following a gastric bypass procedure can take anywhere from three to six weeks. You will be instructed to do the following:

  • Take a daily multivitamin
  • Walk a certain number of steps every day
  • Drink a certain amount of water every day
  • Avoid strenuous and excessive exercise
  • Follow dietary guidelines from a clear liquid diet to progressively solid foods. 

Can gastric bypass surgery improve your health?

Gastric bypass surgery and other weight-loss surgeries can decrease your weight and improve your health. With the proper care and weight management, bariatric surgeries can improve or get rid of the following conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Osteoarthritis

How should I keep the weight off after gastric bypass surgery?

A few methods of keeping off the weight following weight loss surgery include the following:

  • Eat three meals with a protein supplement
  • Eat protein early in the day
  • Eat small meals
  • Take your time eating. A meal should take 20 to 30 minutes to eat. Eating quickly leads to overeating.
  • Chew your food
  • Try to stay away from sugar and fat
  • Do not eat and drink at the same time
  • Avoid drinks with a high-calorie count and a lot of sugar

How much does it cost?

Gastric bypass surgery cost depends on whether or not your insurance covers it. In many cases, if you meet the qualifications for the surgery, insurance will cover the costs. In most cases, it’s best to discuss the specific costs with a patient coordinator at BASS medical group.

For more information or if you are interested in learning about the next steps, start by calling the BASS Bariatric Surgery Center today at 923-281-3711 or visiting us at our website. The experts at BASS can help answer any questions that you may have. Call us today!

About The Author

Daniel Roman, Content Writer

Daniel Roman is a Digital Content Writer at BASS Medical Group. He received his Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 2021. Daniel has published multiple newspaper articles covering public health issues. His latest was a magazine cover story on pandemics and diseases that he co-wrote with Dr. Elena Conis, a historian of medicine, public health, and the environment.

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