This complex surgery is generally done laparoscopically and involves cutting into the stomach to create a smaller pouch to receive food.
Laparoscopic surgery itself refers to the intra-abdominal surgery that is performed through ports that are inserted through the abdominal wall so as to allow the placement of cameras that have been inserted to provide a picture of the actual surgery. This form of surgery begins with the insertion of a needle into the abdomen through which carbon dioxide gas is injected in order to create a cavity. Within that cavity a hollow metal tube is inserted and then inserted into that tube is a laparoscope which permits a magnified view of the abdominal cavity. The camera then projects that same view back on to video monitors that can be viewed by the surgeon. Through the abdominal incisions additional hollow metal tubes may be inserted in order to better visualize the procedure.
There is some debate about merits of laparoscopic surgery versus open surgery. There are a number of variables that may dictate whether or not laparoscopic surgery is appropriate:
If a patient does have laparoscopic surgery performed, then there should be a video record of the entire procedure. It obviously would be important to obtain that.
The most common injury from laparoscopic procedures is a perforated bowel.
In the performance of gastric bypass there are a number of different surgical techniques that can be employed but they essentially involve re-routing the stomach contents from the newly created pouch to the duodenum and the remainder of the small intestines. If the pouch is not properly stapled then the contents from the stomach may leak out into the abdominal area and cause severe infection. Other known complications are pulmonary embolus and problems associated with having to cut through layers of fat in a morbidly obese patient.
There are several signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of a problem following gastric bypass surgery:
Patients seeking this type of surgery must be screened to determine that they meet the general criteria of being one hundred pounds over their ideal body weight. In addition psychological screening is important to assure that the patient is equipped to deal with the dietary and other life style changes necessary for the surgery to be successful.