The gastric bypass surgery is usually for patients with a BMI of more than 40. It is a major surgery, with a hospital stay of up to three nights and a recovery time of approximately six weeks. A stapler is used to divide the stomach into two parts. This creates a smaller pouch at the top, taking in less food to make you feel full. Instead of the food then passing into your stomach through the band (as is the case with gastric banding), food bypasses the stomach and much of the intestine through a small intestine that has been re-routed and grafted onto the small stomach pouch.
The surgery is not easily reversible and will require significant commitment from the patient to change lifestyle and diet. Gastric bypass can result in a average loss of 70% of the excess weight within two years. (Source: Colquitt J, Clegg A, Sidhu M, Royle P, Surgery for morbid obesity. Oxford: The Cochrane Library 2004. No3.)
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