Dr Govind Krishna is a General & Upper

Gastrointestinal Surgeon providing

consultative and surgical services to

patients in south West Sydney.



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What is a Gastric Bypass and what are the advantages of this type of obesity surgery?

This procedure is more highly thought of than other weight loss surgeries. It is often also referred to as bariatric surgery. Of all of the bariatric surgeries, the Gastric Bypass often provides the best results with regards to the amount of weight loss in patients. For this reason it is deemed very popular and in most cases  (around 75%), results have shown that patients lose between 75 and 80% of their excess body weight over the following months after surgery. The first year post-operation will see the patient lose the most weight. The  process of losing this weight will usually slow down within the second year.

Gastric Bypass surgery is a restrictive / malabsorptive surgical procedure – restrictive in the sense that it “restricts” how much food the stomach can intake and is “malasorptive” in that it affects how food and calories are absorbed into the blood stream. This combination surgery has the highest success rate for amount of weight loss.

However the success of this weight loss needs high patient involvement in sticking to a strict aftercare plan to achieve the dramatic results. Many patients achieve this. As the surgical procedure involves the bypassing of the small intestine, patients are required to take nutritional supplements and vitamins ongoing to avoid nutritional complications.

As well as regularly taking nutritional supplements, patients need to follow a strict diet designed to maximise the specific types of food the body needs to stay healthy.

The advantages of Gastric Bypass Surgery include:

Quick and dramatic weight loss

Continued weight loss for 18 – 24 months post-surgery

Many patients maintain a weight loss of 60– 70% of excess weight 10 years post-op

Improved health problems associated with severe obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressures, sleep apnea etc

This procedure has a more powerful effect on insulin resistance than other operation with an 80% cure of type II diabetes. This is so significant that the operation is now advocated to cure diabetes in normal weight diabetic patients.

Improved mobility and quality of life

Normal food can be eaten in small volumes therefore allowing a more healthy day to day diet.

Gastric Bypass surgery has a long track record of helping patients loose large amounts of weight.

How is it done?

The operation involves the creation of a very small pouch from the top 5% of the stomach. The pouch is then joined to the small intestine thus bypassing the remaining 95% of the stomach and about a metre of the small intestine. The operation reduces the amount of food that can be eaten at a single sitting as well as reducing hunger through a powerful effect on the gut hormone Grehlin.

What are the disadvantages of Gastric Bypass surgery?

Multivitamins supplements together with iron and calcium tablets must be taken daily. Vitamin B12 injections are needed every 3-6 months. There are the lifestyle and cost factors associated with this ongoing regime.

The surgery is invasive and there is a risk of leaks and bleeding from the staple lines and the joints.

Late complications can occur due to ulcers, bowel twists and blockages (2-4% ).

The procedure is not easily reversible.

The surgery is technically more demanding and in some instances -  may not be possible to be done laparoscopically, especially in patients who have had previous abdominal surgery.

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