How Does Gastric Bypass Work?

How Does Gastric Bypass Work?

Gastric bypass surgery works by creating a smaller stomach pouch and rerouting the small intestine, resulting in both restrictive and malabsorptive effects. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how gastric bypass surgery works:

1. Creation of a small stomach pouch: The surgeon divides the upper part of the stomach, typically using staples or a vertical band, to create a small pouch. As a result, the stomach can store less food, which results in a sense of fullness after only small meals. The new stomach pouch is usually about the size of an egg or a walnut.

2. Division of the small intestine: The surgeon then divides the small intestine into two parts. The lower end of the divided intestine is connected to the small stomach pouch, forming a new pathway for food to pass through.

3. Rerouting of the small intestine: The upper part of the divided small intestine is reattached further down the small intestine, creating a Y-shaped configuration. This makes it possible for food to skip a section of the small intestine.

4. Restriction: The small stomach pouch restricts the amount of food that can be consumed at one time, as it can only hold a small volume of food. This results in reduced calorie intake and promotes weight loss.

5. Malabsorption: By rerouting a portion of the small intestine, the digestive system absorbs fewer calories and nutrients from the food consumed. The bypassed section of the intestine carries digestive juices and enzymes, which eventually mix with food further down the intestinal tract.

The combination of restriction and malabsorption contributes to weight loss. The smaller stomach pouch limits food intake, while the rerouting of the small intestine reduces the absorption of calories and nutrients from the food consumed. Additionally, hormonal changes occur after gastric bypass surgery, which can affect appetite and satiety, further aiding in weight loss.

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