Who is the Ideal Candidate for a Gastric Bypass?

The weight loss surgeries offered at Bariatric & Aesthetic Surgery Associates utilize a variety of techniques to help patients achieve their weight loss goals. The patient’s individual needs and circumstances are major determining factors in which weight loss procedure will be best for that patient. The ideal candidate for a gastric bypass struggles with weight management as well as acid reflux and/or type 2 diabetes.

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Gastric Bypass and Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, which affects millions of Americans each year, can cause significant discomfort and even serious health problems. Individuals with severe acid reflux may suffer from chronic heartburn, described as a feeling of burning discomfort in the upper stomach/chest area. Some patients may wake up in the middle of the night feeling like their dinner has risen to the back of their throat. For patients with acid reflux who are also good candidates for weight loss surgery, a gastric bypass may be able to resolve both concerns simultaneously.

The gastric bypass procedure was discovered somewhat on accident as a result of an anti-reflux surgery. During a gastric bypass the surgeon cuts the vagus nerves, which are responsible for causing acid to be produced in the stomach. As a result, this weight loss procedure reduces acid production in the gastric pouch and limits bile reflux. Therefore, patients with severe acid reflux and chronic heartburn tend to do very well with gastric bypass surgery.

Gastric Bypass and Type 2 Diabetes

Weight loss patients who have type 2 diabetes are also excellent candidates for gastric bypass surgery. In some studies, as many as 94% of patients with type 2 diabetes will get rid of the diabetes after a gastric bypass. The results of gastric bypass surgery have a measurable, early effect on type 2 diabetes, even before significant weight loss has occurred.

Scientific research recognizes that changing hormone levels are partially responsible for the positive effect of a gastric bypass on type 2 diabetes. Active research continues to inform our understanding of the benefits of this procedure. For patients with type 2 diabetes, gastric bypass surgery helps to lower blood sugar levels and reduces or eliminates the need for diabetes medications. The remission of type 2 diabetes after this bariatric procedure can last for years and may improve many diabetes-related health complications.