Advantages and Disadvantages of the Gastric Bypass

Advantages

  • It is particularly effective for patients with a larger BMI as the procedure has more predictable weight loss outcomes.
  • Hormonal changes resulting from surgery mean most patients have an almost immediate reduction in their need for diabetic medication and some are able to completely stop diabetic medication altogether.
  • Gastric bypass tends to have the strongest effect on high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other obesity related health issues.
  • It does not require any on-going adjustments which are required with other procedures, such as the gastric band. Regular follow up is however necessary to ensure weight loss is appropriate and intake is nutritionally adequate.
  • It is effective for those people who tend towards high sugar or high fat foods. Dumping syndrome is directly linked to a high sugar, high fat intake. Symptoms of dumping are unpleasant and therefore discourage the intake of high calorie, sweet foods.

Disadvantages

  • Although it is technically possible to reverse this operation, this is much more involved than with gastric banding (for example) and reversal is only undertaken in very rare situations.
  • Complications, although rare, are generally more serious than with other weight loss procedures, such as the gastric band.
  • There is a higher risk of nutritional deficiency due to the reduced absorption of vitamins and nutrients. Life-long vitamin and mineral supplementation is essential to prevent deficiency following surgery. Long term follow up with the surgeon and dietitian to monitor nutritional status is also very important.