Gastric Bypass Surgery- Why Is It Needed? Advantages & Disadvantages of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Weight loss surgery has become a boon for treatment of obesity. There are several types of surgeries for weight loss, collectively known as bariatric surgery. Gastric surgery is one of the most widely undertaken surgeries for weight loss. Gastric bypass surgery is preferred by the health experts as the procedure poses fewer complications as compared to other weight loss procedures. It is important to know about gastric bypass surgery, why is it needed and its advantages and disadvantages.

What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Like other weight reduction surgeries, gastric bypass surgery involves making changes in the digestive system to facilitate weight reduction by suppressing the urge to eat. The procedure involves changing the functioning of the stomach and intestine to alter the way they handle the processing of food.

This is done by reducing the size of the stomach, which gives quicker satisfaction with little food intake. The intestine is also rearranged in order to facilitate limited absorption of minerals that may cause weight gain thus helping patients to consume and digest smaller meals.

Gastric bypass surgery involves the use of anesthesia and the aim is to make the stomach smaller. The smaller portion of the stomach holds less food, thus allows less intake of food. Also, a part of stomach connects to the small intestine where the minerals and calories are absorbed from the food consumed. As the quantity of the food is less, fewer calories and minerals are absorbed by the intestine. This helps in weight reduction.

Gastric bypass surgery is performed in two ways: laparoscopy and laparotomy.

  • Laparoscopy involves operating through a small cut and tracking the operation with the help of a camera.
  • In laparotomy, a larger cut opens up the belly to operate on the stomach.

As precautionary measure after the gastric bypass surgery, patients are asked to keep a check on their diet. Restricted diet in smaller portions taken frequently is a part of the recovery along with rest and restricted activity for transition back to normal.

Why is Gastric Bypass Surgery Needed?

The need of gastric bypass surgery arises when diet and exercise does not help in reduction of weight. To treat obesity, surgery is suggested to people with body mass index more than 40. The surgery is not suggested as a quick fix to obesity but as a potential solution to fight the problems caused by obesity. If obesity is not treated, health issues like diabetes, heart ailments due to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma and even organ failure can occur. A weight loss surgery like gastric bypass helps to reduce the chances of these diseases.

Advantages of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is suggested to people who come under the category of obese people. Obese people have a BMI of 40 or more that may affect them severely. In order to prevent any drastic effect of the condition on the well-being of the person gastric bypass surgery is undertaken. The advantages of gastric bypass surgery include

  1. Weight Loss

    Weight loss is one of the most important advantages of gastric bypass surgery. After the surgery, the patients can lose up to 70 percent of their excess weight. As the surgery suppresses the urge to eat more, the body consumes less food leading to weight loss. The difference in the weight can be seen within one to two years of the surgery.

  2. Better Health

    Excess weight causes a lot of ailment and health issues. Obesity can cause diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and heart diseases that can lead to multiple organ failure is not treated on time. However, as gastric bypass surgery helps to reduce weight, it also reduces the risk of many ailments. Hence, one of the major advantages of gastric bypass surgery also includes better health.

  3. Better Eating Habits

    Obese people tend to eat in excess that leads to their weight gain. After the surgery, the eating habits of the patient are altered to smaller portions and more frequent meals. Making up for the lost nutrients and following changed dietary patterns also instills better eating habits.

  4. More Energy

    Obese people can get tired very easily with a little physical activity. After the surgery, the patient feels more energetic and active as all the extra weight has been shed. Thus, an essential advantage of gastric bypass surgery is that it makes people feel more energetic.

  5. Better Appearance

    After losing weight, the body size reduces to a noticeable amount giving a better appearance to the person. Improved looks is one of the appreciable advantages of gastric bypass surgery.

Disadvantages of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Like any medical procedure, there are some potential disadvantages of gastric bypass surgery. These may include some complications, which may not be major or fatal. The main disadvantage of gastric bypass surgery is saggy skin after the surgery and a few scars due to the cut and stitches. This may be corrected with cosmetic surgery.

Some Possible Complications of Gastric Bypass Surgery Include:

  1. Infections in the Wound

    As the procedure involves cutting and stitching of the belly, the after care of the wound is necessary. If not taken care of, the wound may catch infections leading to bleeding or pus formation.

  2. Indigestion

    As the body will take time to adapt to the new eating habits, indigestion may occur in the beginning.

  3. Bleeding or Blood Clot

    There may be bleeding or clots around the wound for initial few days.

    Disadvantages of gastric bypass surgery and the complications can be kept minimal by following proper medical advice and following up regularly. Post-surgery diet and exercises must be followed as advised to avoid the disadvantages as much as possible.


Gastric bypass surgery is a sure shot procedure for weight reduction and a boon to obese people. The advantages of gastric bypass surgery are many and can outweigh the possible disadvantages in most cases. However, the decision is best taken by the surgeon, depending on the person’s health condition and other factors.

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