How Long Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Take
How long does gastric bypass take is one of the key concerns patients have when they are considering this weight loss surgery. When you are struggling with morbid obesity and other associated medical problems, it is natural to worry about undergoing a major surgical procedure. Your bariatric surgeon will inform you about the estimated gastric bypass surgery time it will take in the operating room, and will help you make a confident decision.
Your surgeon will carefully evaluate your overall health condition to determine if you are fit to undergo the surgery and can sustain general anesthesia for the entire length of the procedure. How long is gastric bypass surgery will not really matter as long as your surgeon approves you as a candidate and you follow all their pre-operative instructions carefully. Gastric bypass procedure time can also vary between patients, depending on whether you undergo an open or laparoscopic surgery.
What is gastric bypass surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is a time-tested and clinically proven bariatric procedure to help you achieve sustainable weight loss and resolution of obesity-related health symptoms. To know how long does gastric bypass take and how it can benefit you, it is best to speak to a qualified bariatric surgeon. This procedure involves a two-pronged approach (restrictive and malabsorptive) to help you eliminate obesity.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is considered the gold standard in weight loss surgeries today because of its excellent success rate. You can expect to achieve rapid weight loss of up to 70 percent by the end of first year.
As long as you remain committed to your prescribed diet plan, you may be able to achieve your ideal body weight and attain permanent freedom from obesity in about two years after a gastric bypass.
Related: Gastric bypass requirements
How long has gastric bypass been around?
Gastric bypass surgery has been around since 1954 when the first-ever weight loss surgery was performed by Dr. A.J. Kremen. In this procedure, Dr. Kremen surgically connected the patient’s lower and upper intestine to create a bypass for minimal calorie absorption. In 1963, a team of doctors improvised the procedure by connecting the colon to the upper portion of the small intestine.
The technique further evolved in 1967 when surgeons managed to staple the stomach and create a bypass for the small intestine. This intestinal bypass technique produced significant weight loss results. The procedure was finally perfected in 1996, which came to be known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. To learn more its history, you should discuss with your surgeon about how long gastric bypass has been around.
How does gastric bypass work?
Before you commit yourself to the surgery, you should know how does gastric bypass work and how long does it take to get gastric bypass. The procedure is a more comprehensive form of weight loss surgery that works in three ways:
- Restrictive: Your bariatric surgeon will staple a large portion of your stomach to reduce its size. The new small pouch will restrict the amount of food you can consume and store in the stomach at one time. You will naturally eat smaller meal portions and will feel full faster.
- Malabsorptive: The rerouting of the small intestine is the second part of your gastric bypass surgery. This will ensure that a large amount of food bypasses the intestine. As a result, the calorie absorption will be reduced. So, even when you are eating food, the calorie intake will not be so high.
- Gut Hormone: To understand how does gastric bypass work, you should know the role of gut hormones. These hormones induce hunger and increase your urge to eat. Your gastric bypass will adjust gut hormones in a way that your appetite is curbed, and you will feel less hungry through the day.
Related: How does gastric sleeve work
What does gastric bypass do?
Gastric bypass makes surgical changes to your stomach as well as small intestine with an aim to reduce your eating capacity and alter the way you digest and absorb food. During your initial consultation, feel free to ask your surgeon about what does gastric bypass do and how long does gastric bypass take in the surgery room.
Here is what a gastric bypass will do for you in general:
- Produce rapid weight loss or obesity reversal in the first year itself (up to 70% of excess weight loss)
- Produce long-term, sustainable weight loss in most cases over 5 years, 10 years, and possibly a lifetime
- Help you limit your meal portions and improve eating habits
- Reduce your body’s calorie absorption, so that even when you eat, it does not maximize your calories
- Contribute to natural hunger suppression due to permanent changes in gut biome
- Helps resolve or reduce the symptoms of illnesses associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension
Related: Gastric bypass cures diabetes: Fact or myth
How long does gastric bypass surgery take?
Gastric bypass surgery can take up to three hours in the operating room. But most patients will require less than two hours in the surgery room on average. Gastric bypass operation time can vary from one patient to another for several reasons. At your pre-op consultation, your surgeon will create a customized surgery plan and inform you how long does gastric bypass take in your case. The following factors will determine the length of your surgery:
Your bariatric surgeon will decide whether you are a candidate for an open surgery or a laparoscopic gastric bypass. The open surgery may take slightly longer because it is more invasive and a larger incision is required to perform it. In most cases, surgeons now choose the laparoscopic technique because it is more precise and involves reduced procedure time.
How long is gastric bypass surgery will also depend on whether you are suffering from any obesity-related health conditions. If your case is more complicated, your surgeon may involve additional physicians or specialists to be a part of the operating team. If you are being treated for severe or super obesity, more time may be needed to perform the surgery in multiple, pre-determined steps.
In rare cases, the patient may develop an adverse reaction to general anesthesia or the bleeding may be excessive or another complication may occur during the surgery. This will increase your operating time so that the procedure can be completed safely. Experienced surgeons keep a provision for such rare emergencies in mind when they inform you about how long does gastric bypass take in the surgery room.
Gastric bypass surgery time
Gastric bypass surgery time may range from 90 to 180 minutes on average. This includes the time for general anesthesia, incision placement, surgery execution, incision closure, bandages, and waking after anesthesia. Gastric bypass procedure time will also depend on the skill of your bariatric surgeon and their support team, and the type of surgical technique and technology they use to perform your procedure.
How long are you in the hospital after gastric bypass?
Gastric bypass hospital stay of one to three days is required in many, but not all cases. Depending on your age, health condition, BMI and how you respond to the surgery and anesthesia, your surgeon may allow you to return home the same day after your surgery in some cases. But you will still need to spend a few hours under medical observation before you can go home.
Based on your condition, your surgeon may tell you in advance if you will need a hospital stay. Therefore, talk to your surgeon about how long are you in the hospital after gastric bypass. You will receive professional nursing care for a safe initial recovery. The doctors along with a nutritionist and physical therapist will help you speed up your initial recovery in a safe and predictable manner.
What pain medication can you take after gastric bypass?
Your bariatric surgeon will prescribe a few mild pain medications following your gastric bypass. Each patient has a unique pain tolerance level. Some patients may only experience localized pain in the incision sites, while some others may also report pain in the neck, shoulders, and abdominal area after a laparoscopic gastric bypass.
Keep the following things in mind about what pain medication can you take after gastric bypass:
- Follow the surgeon’s prescribed medications carefully during your hospital stay or at home, and do not over-dose.
- You will initially be administered PCA or patient controlled analgesia at the hospital. Oral pain meds will be added once you are ready to take fluids.
- Inform your surgeon or nurse if the pain persists even after the medication and keeps you from doing light activities or short walks.
- Do not drive or perform other activities that require a lot of focus, while you are on pain medications that make you feel drowsy.
What to expect with gastric bypass surgery: During the procedure
Having a clear idea of what to expect with gastric bypass surgery will prepare you mentally and you will approach the procedure more confidently. You should know how long is gastric bypass, how it works, and whether you will need a hospital stay. You can request your surgeon to share a procedure video and explain the surgery process in detail to you.
- First Step: Following general anesthesia, your surgeon will perform the first stage of the procedure. They will create a smaller stomach pouch by stapling the upper portion of your stomach.
- Second Step: At this point, your surgeon will divide the upper part of your small intestine. The lower end of this divided intestine will be pulled up to connect with the newly created stomach pouch.
- Third Step: Your surgeon will complete the gastric bypass procedure by creating a connection between the upper part of the small intestine and the lower part. This will allow the digestive enzymes to mix with food.
What to expect with gastric bypass: After the surgery
Following your gastric bypass surgery, you will be brought out of anesthesia. The nursing assistants will move you to a special recovery area where you will remain under medical observation for a few hours. Depending on your condition, your surgeon will determine whether you can leave the hospital the same day or you require a gastric bypass hospital stay for one or two days or more.
Temporary Side Effects of Surgery
It is not only important to know how long does gastric bypass surgery take, but also how much time you spend in the hospital until your early side effects subside. You will initially feel nausea and light-headedness as these are after-effects of general anesthesia. It is completely normal to feel pain and soreness in the incision sites, and weakness, anxiety, and fatigue. These symptoms will quickly resolve in 24 to 48 hours after gastric bypass.
Early Recovery in the Hospital
Your team of doctors and nurses will closely monitor your vital signs, such as pulse, blood pressure, respiration, and body temperature. Your nurse or physical therapist will guide you to perform mild leg movements, coughing, and deep breathing. These activities will improve your blood flow and help avoid gastric bypass complications. If you do not experience any abnormal symptoms, you could leave the hospital in a day or two post-surgery.
Related: Things you can't do after gastric bypass surgery
Gastric bypass surgery recovery time
People who are working would want to know gastric bypass how long off work. In general, the early recovery time after gastric bypass is about one to two weeks. Most patients can return to their workplace in the second week. However, it’s essential to avoid strenuous activities, bending, and lifting of heavy weights for at least four to six weeks to ensure wound care.
- Plan Your Recovery: Inform your employer ahead of time that you will be taking off from work for at least one to two weeks post-surgery. Request a family member or friend to assist you for the first 24 hours if return home the same day of your surgery.
- Post-op Diet Plan: Before you leave hospital, your surgeon or nutritionist will provide you a detailed gastric bypass post-op diet plan. Make arrangements at home for all the required ingredients to follow this diet plan diligently from day one.
- Follow-up Appointments: Continue to maintain your follow-up visits or virtual appointments with the surgeon as scheduled. They will monitor your progress and ensure that you have a safe and rapid recovery. Take your medications on time during the recovery phase.
Related: Gastric bypass before and after pictures
Life after gastric bypass
Your life after gastric bypass is going to get better with each passing day. As you progressively lose weight and win your battle against obesity, it will dramatically improve your quality of life. The key is to maintain a disciplined lifestyle so far as your diet and exercise is concerned.
The rewards of these efforts will be life-changing.
- Increased Self-Confidence: As you get rid of obesity and related medical conditions, it will positively change your outlook towards life and increase your self-confidence and self-esteem. This will reflect in your productivity and performance, both professionally and in social and personal life.
- Living Life to the Fullest: You will be able to participate in sports and outdoor activities that you never even dreamed of doing prior to your gastric bypass surgery. You can wear the clothes of your choice, and flaunt your new, desirable figure, and win the admiration of your others.
- Reduced Medical Costs: Life after gastric bypass may even prove to be financially rewarding in terms of lower medical costs. As your co-morbidities resolve and your dependence on medications reduces, you may end up saving thousands of dollars a year on your healthcare.
Related: How to restart weight loss after gastric bypass surgery
Have more questions regarding gastric bypass surgery? Contact Jet Medical Tourism Today!
Are you concerned about how long does gastric bypass surgery take, how does it work, and how safe is this surgery? At Jet Medical Tourism®, our caring and compassionate bariatric surgeons will be happy to address all your questions and concerns. We are one of the leaders in the field of gastric bypass surgery medical tourism in Mexico.
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