Gastric bypass surgery is a type of weight loss surgery targeted to treat obesity. Obesity is one of the diseases that most devastate global health, and the number of obese people has nearly tripled since 1975. The World Health Organization considers overweight a BMI of 25–29.9 and obesity a BMI greater than or equal to 30.  Gastric bypass surgery is a surgical option for patients who have tried to lose weight unsuccessfully or have experienced yo-yo dieting or weight cycling. Gastric bypass surgery involves creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach and re-routing the small intestine to connect to this new pouch. As a result, the amount of food the stomach can hold is significantly reduced, and patients feel full more quickly after eating. Gastric bypass surgery can also help to reduce the body’s absorption of calories, leading to weight loss. The surgery is usually performed laparoscopically, which means that only small incisions are made in the abdomen. Most patients experience significant weight loss within the first year after surgery. Gastric bypass surgery is considered one of the most effective weight loss surgeries available, and it can help patients improve their health and quality of life.
If you’re stuck in a loop trying to lose weight, medical weight loss with Mustafa Ahmed, MD at Southern Nevada Bariatrics is a great way to get on track to forming healthy, sustainable habits. Dr. Ahmed is a board-certified bariatric surgeon with 20 years of helping patients achieve their weight loss dreams. To book your medical weight loss consultation, call our Las Vegas clinic at (702) 626-0499 or use the convenient online scheduling tool today.
To learn more about Dr. Ahmed and the weight loss solutions we offer at Southern Nevada Bariatrics offer, follow our blog.
- 1 More About Gastric Bypass Surgery
- 2 What are the Benefits of Gastric Bypass?
- 3 Candidates
- 4 Personal Consultation
- 5 Preparing for Gastric Bypass Surgery
- 6 The Gastric Bypass Procedure
- 7 Recovery from Gastric Bypass
- 8 Result of Gastric Bypass Surgery
- 9 What is the Cost of Gastric Bypass Surgery in Southern Nevada?
- 10 FAQ
- 11 References
More About Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery, also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, is a restrictive and malabsorptive procedure; this is because the smaller stomach size restricts the number of calories absorbed and results in the malabsorption of sugars and fats, which improves glycemic balance.  Many patients who choose gastric bypass struggle with weight cycling, which is the process of losing weight and gaining it back over and over with a diet that lacks proper nutrition. However, this surgery is typically only recommended for people who are severely obese and have not been able to lose weight through other means, such as diet and exercise. Gastric bypass surgery can effectively help people lose a significant amount of weight, but it is also a major surgery with risks and complications. As with any weight loss surgery, there is the potential for weight gain after gastric bypass surgery, so it is essential to discuss all of the risks and benefits of gastric bypass surgery with Dr. Ahmed before making a decision.
What is Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure during which a small camera, called a laparoscope, is used to give a surgeon visibility, so that they can perform surgery on the inside of the body. This surgical camera is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen and provides a clear view of the abdominal organs; this allows Dr. Ahmed to perform the gastric bypass procedure without making large incisions. Laparoscopic surgery is typically associated with fewer complications and a shorter hospital stay than traditional open surgery.  As a result, it is an increasingly popular choice for patients undergoing medical weight loss surgery.
What are the Benefits of Gastric Bypass?
Gastric bypass surgery changes the way the stomach and intestine handle food. The surgery makes the stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of the small intestine; this reduces the number of calories and nutrients that the body absorbs. Gastric bypass surgery also helps to change hormones affecting hunger and fullness, leading to long-term weight loss. Gastric bypass surgery has been shown to be an effective weight loss tool, with patients typically losing 50-80% of their excess body weight within two years of surgery.  In addition to promoting weight loss, gastric bypass surgery improves or resolves several obesity-related health conditions, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- And more
Gastric bypass surgery is a serious procedure with potential risks and complications, but for patients who are struggling to lose weight, it can be a life-changing treatment. Patients can return to more active, healthier, and enjoyable life after losing weight after undergoing gastric bypass surgery.
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) suggests that metabolic surgery is a suitable treatment for individuals with a BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 30–34.9, along with obesity-related conditions like type 2 diabetes. This recommendation is for patients who have not achieved weight loss with nonsurgical methods.  Ideal candidates for gastric bypass are between 18 and 65; outside this age range, Dr. Ahmed will assess case by case.
- Not have endocrine disorders
- Be able to understand the requirements of the follow-up treatment rules
- Not have psychiatric disorders
- Not have the disease of alcoholism or struggle with drug dependency
The team at Southern Nevada Bariatrics has the tools and knowledge to inform you if gastric bypass surgery is an appropriate addition to your weight loss plan. We may decide that you’re a good candidate for the surgery if you:
- Have a body mass index of 40 or higher
- Have a BMI of over 35 with a weight-related condition, such as sleep apnea or high cholesterol
- Are committed to permanent lifestyle changes
- Have unsuccessfully attempted losing weight on your own
- Are psychologically prepared for a lengthy recovery process
To ensure that the surgery is a good fit for you, the Southern Nevada Bariatrics team will thoroughly evaluate your health and readiness with a complete physical exam and any necessary tests, such as an upper gastrointestinal series. This test employs x-rays, real-time video, and a chalky liquid for increased visibility of the upper GI tract.  If, after evaluation and testing, we decide you are not a candidate for surgery, we will give you instructions on how to qualify in the future. Do not worry; we are here for you if you are struggling to lose weight. Are you ready to find out if gastric bypass surgery can start you on the path to sustained weight loss? Call Southern Nevada Bariatrics at (702) 626-0499 or schedule your appointment online today.
Preparing for Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery is a major undertaking that requires significant preparation on the part of the patient. The first step is to meet with Dr. Ahmed’s Southern Nevada Bariatrics team to discuss the procedure’s risks and benefits. Our team will discuss the commitment this surgery requires so you can decide for yourself if you are ready to change your life to achieve your weight loss goals.
Additionally, leading up to surgery, patients should:
- Quit smoking
- Start a healthy diet and exercise program
- Collect before surgery any medications prescribed by Dr. Ahmed
- Arrange for transportation home after surgery
- Ask for help from family and friends, especially on the first night following your procedure
Avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight on the night before surgery. On the morning of your procedure, you should shower and wash your hair with antiseptic soap and gargle with an antiseptic mouthwash. Gastric bypass surgery is a serious procedure that requires careful preparation. By following these simple guidelines, patients can help ensure a successful outcome. We will provide a complete outline of what you must do to prepare for surgery during your consultation.
The Gastric Bypass Procedure
Gastric bypass is a two to four-hour weight loss surgery during which Dr. Ahmed will reduce the size of your stomach. The surgery creates a detour between your stomach and small intestine, causing you to absorb fewer calories from the food you eat. By reducing your stomach’s size, you’ll feel full after eating less food.
Dr. Ahmed makes four to six small incisions in your abdomen during laparoscopic surgery. Through these incisions, he uses the laparoscope and specialized surgical tools to create a small pouch out of the top half of your stomach; this pouch holds about an ounce of food. Then, Dr. Ahmed will make a hole in the pouch and connect it to your small intestine. Following your procedure, our staff will monitor your health before releasing you to begin recovery.
Recovery from Gastric Bypass
Recovery after gastric bypass surgery is a long process that involves close monitoring from your physician; full recovery typically takes 4-6 weeks. During this time, patients are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids and eat a diet of soft, easily-digestible foods. They may also need to take pain medication and stool softeners. Most people are able to return to their normal activities within four to six weeks. However, it is important to follow the recommended diet and exercise plan after surgery to maintain weight loss and prevent complications.
Result of Gastric Bypass Surgery
You will need to adhere to some dietary restrictions during your recovery; however, the results are substantial and worth the effort. After gastric bypass surgery, your results largely depend on how well you follow a healthy lifestyle. Inadequate weight loss or weight regain after gastric bypass occurs in more than a quarter of patients who lack discipline but may also result from hormonal or anatomical changes.  To optimize the success of your surgery, you must continue to eat a healthy diet and exercise as directed by Dr. Ahmed. After gastric bypass surgery, you may see an improvement with conditions such as:
- Acid reflux
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
What is the Cost of Gastric Bypass Surgery in Southern Nevada?
We will discuss with you the cost of your treatment during your consultation. We work with many major insurance companies. Patients interested in Cash Pay and Financing should also check out our options. To discuss treatment with Dr. Ahmed at Southern Nevada Bariatrics, call (702) 626-0499 today!
Is gastric bypass surgery reversible?
While gastric bypass surgery is reversible, gastric bypass reversal is another major surgery requiring the same or increased risk and recovery.  Patients who decide to reverse their gastric bypass should carefully weigh the risks of additional surgery.
- Luesma MJ, Fernando J, Cantarero I, et al. Surgical Treatment of Obesity. Special Mention to Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Vertical Gastrectomy. Frontiers in Endocrinology. Published online 2022. doi:10.3389/fendo.2022.867838
- Johnson A. Laparoscopic surgery. The Lancet. 1997;349(9052):631-635. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(96)10032-5
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Upper GI Series | NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/upper-gi-series#:~:text=care%20right%20away-
- Pernar LIM, Kim JJ, Shikora SA. Gastric bypass reversal: a 7-year experience. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2016;12(8):1492-1498. doi:10.1016/j.soard.2016.03.032