Malabsorption and restriction are two procedures that are involved in the two basic types of gastric bypass surgery. Restriction procedures reduce the size of the stomach through the use of a gastric band, staples, or both, and do not interfere with the normal digestion process.
Malabsorption procedures, on the other hand, reduce the size of the stomach and bypass duodenum, the first segment of the small intestine, and sometimes the whole of the jejunum (the mid-section of the intestines). Some bariatric procedures combine the two.
The most effective surgical weight loss treatment available today is the roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery. During this procedure, the stomach is divided into two sections, reducing the size of the new pouch 90 percent, from approximately two quarts to one or two ounces. This massive reduction limits the new stomach pouch’s ability to hold food, causing the patient to feel full after eating only a small amount of food. This also causes the food to bypass part of the digestive system, reducing the amount of calories the body absorbs.
The removal of parts of the stomach is the most extensive procedure in gastric bypass surgery. A small pouch remains, which then is connected directly to the final segment of the small intestine, completely bypassing the duodenum and jejunum. Although this surgery can result in substantial weight loss, it is seldom used due to the high risk of nutritional deficiencies.
The malabsorptive nature of the post gastric bypass surgery system prohibits sufficient amounts of b-complex vitamins from food sources from entering the body of weight loss surgery individuals. Annual blood tests indicate that individuals who do not supplement their diet with b-complex vitamins are deficient.
Other options include adjustable gastric banding, where the stomach is encircled with an inflatable band allows only a small portion of the stomach to be used for holding food. Patients typically achieve less weight loss with this procedure because no intestine is bypassed and there is no malabsorption, but the absence of stapling makes it the least invasive and lowers the risks involved.
It is important to remember when choosing to have the bypass surgery that you keep in mind the amount of time it takes for recovery and also the type of lifestyle that is required for post-surgery. Do not try to cut corners by electing for the lease evasive procedure if in the end you will still not attain your weight loss goal.