Gastric Bypass Surgery
An opportunity to succeed.
At Sharp, we know that losing weight can be a struggle. If you've tried every diet and exercise program out there and still aren't able to lose weight, laparoscopic gastric bypass may be an option for you.
Our expert teams at Sharp Memorial Hospital and Sharp Coronado Hospital are here to help you reach your weight-loss goals and support your lifelong health.
Are you a candidate for gastric bypass surgery?
Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery may be a good option for you if:
- You are a man 100 pounds over your ideal body weight or a woman 80 pounds over your ideal body weight
- You have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40
- You have a BMI between 35 and 40 and have another condition such as obesity-related Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea or heart disease
How the laparoscopic gastric bypass procedure works.
Roux-en-Y laparoscopic gastric bypass is a procedure that alters the process of digestion so you feel fuller faster. The surgery is performed through small abdominal incisions, which results in less pain and a quicker recovery.
During this procedure the surgeon staples the stomach to create a small pouch that will hold less food, and then shapes a portion of the small intestine into a "Y." The "Y" portion is then connected to the stomach pouch so when food is being digested it travels directly into the lower part of the small intestine. The pouch will hold only about one ounce of food or less, which causes a feeling of fullness after just a few bites.
Gastric bypass pros and cons.
As with all surgical procedures, there are advantages and disadvantages. At Sharp, we believe it's important you are aware of both.
Advantages of gastric bypass:
- Decreased hunger hormone (ghrelin)
- Increased metabolism
- Lose up to 70 percent of excess weight
Disadvantages of gastric bypass:
- Risk of blood clots
- Can cause "dumping syndrome" (food in the stomach moves to the intestines quickly, causing nausea, sweating, fainting, weakness and/or diarrhea)
Is weight-loss surgery right for you?
Make an educated and informed decision about weight-loss surgery by attending one of our free educational seminars offered by Sharp Coronado Hospital or Sharp Memorial Hospital. You will learn everything you need to know about gastric bypass surgery, including program requirements and other treatment options.
We also recommend you attend one of our monthly support groups to talk with and ask questions of other weight-loss surgery patients.
Frequently asked questions.
Will my insurance cover gastric bypass surgery?
Most insurance companies in California cover weight-loss surgery, providing you meet certain medical criteria. For example, you may be required to provide documentation of at least six months of physician-supervised weight-loss efforts. Our patient coordinators are experienced in working with insurance companies and will help you determine your individual coverage.
How will I know when to stop losing weight?
Your body knows how much weight it needs to lose. As long as you stick to your nutrition and exercise program, your body will adjust to the weight loss and stabilize at its appropriate weight.
Is it possible to regain my weight?
Remember, your gastric bypass is only a tool. It is not a cure for obesity. Snacking, drinking with meals, drinking caffeinated and carbonated beverages, not drinking enough water in between meals and not exercising are common behaviors that may cause you to regain your weight.
What do I do about excess skin after weight loss?
Most people can minimize excess skin by maintaining healthy nutrition, aerobic exercise and weight training. But if you need to have excess skin removed, we can help you consult with a plastic surgeon.
Can the surgery be reversed?
It is possible to reverse the surgery, but it is not advised. Reversing the surgery is considered another major procedure and you are at an increased risk for complications. Reversing the surgery also would increase your risk of regaining the weight you have lost.
If my pouch grows too much, can it be made smaller again?
It can be made smaller, but you would have to undergo another surgery, which would increase your risk for complications. The best way to maintain your weight or not regain your weight is to follow the guidelines set by the bariatric program.
Why do some people have more gas than others?
There are several reasons why some people experience gas:
- Swallowing air while eating, drinking and talking (be careful not to eat or drink too fast)
- Eating gas-producing foods, such as cabbage and broccoli
- People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) develop gas when the bowel becomes irritated; stress and anxiety have a tendency to trigger an IBS episode
What happens to the unused portion of my stomach?
The portion of the stomach that is "dormant" continues to produce acids and enzymes of digestion. This is normal and shouldn't impact your health in a negative way.
How do I know if I am successful with my weight loss?
Remember, success is not getting to your goal weight; it is getting to a "healthy" weight. If you have achieved a weight within approximately 40 pounds of your ideal body weight and maintain your weight, you are considered a success.
How long should I wait to get pregnant after surgery?
It is strongly recommended that women wait at least year after surgery before getting pregnant. Approximately one year postoperatively (depending on how much weight you needed to lose), your body will be fairly stable and you should be able to carry a healthy baby to term.
If you aren't sure if weight-loss surgery is right for you or you don't meet the requirements, but are still interested in losing weight, learn more about our personalized weight-loss programs.
Experience our classes and events.
We'll help find the doctor who's right for you.
View doctors specializing in general surgery - bariatric surgery in San Diego.
Dr. Eric Luedke
"The Sharp Experience means a commitment to excellence. This is what we strive to accomplish each and every day for our patients."
Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul
"The Sharp Experience means excellent health care in a setting that I would be proud to have for my family."
Dr. George Mueller
"It’s been my privilege for 20+ years to work closely with Sharp Memorial’s incredible bariatric team to ensure the best care and lifelong success for our patients."
Dr. Pascal Bortz
"The Sharp Experience means that you get the same caring passionate attitude from the doctors, nurses, and entire support staff."