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Gastric Bypass – A Cure for Diabetes?

New studies show that gastric bypass surgery for obese diabetic patients can have dramatic and immediate effects on reversing the disease – even before they lose weight.

Surgery Options

Our program offers several minimally invasive weight-loss surgery options, including laparoscopic and robotic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding (Lap-Band®) sleeve gastrectomy, and revisional bariatric surgery.

Surgical Approach

Minimally invasive surgery means less injury to the body than with an open surgery. In general, it is safer and allows you to recover faster and heal with less pain and scarring. Over 97% of the surgeries we do are done via a minimally invasive approach.

Types of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Laparoscopic surgery is done through five or six very small incisions, using small tubes, video cameras and surgical instruments. The major benefit of laparoscopic surgery is that it only requires a few small incisions. This means less pain, external scarring and healing that typically occurs faster than traditional, open surgery.
  • Robotic-assisted surgery is the newest approach to minimally invasive surgery. Like laparoscopy, surgery is done through five or six very small incisions. However, the robot allows for a magnified 3D high-definition view and has special instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human wrist. These features enable your surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. This advanced technology allows patients to experience even less postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays, fewer complications and better outcomes.

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass surgery reduces the size of your stomach and allows food to bypass a large part of your stomach and part of the small intestine. The small stomach means you'll feel full more quickly, thus reducing the amount of food eaten. Bypassing a section of the small intestine allows you to absorb fewer calories as well, which also aids weight loss.

Developed and refined over many years, gastric bypass surgery is known as the gold standard of bariatric surgery. It has proven to be a safe, effective and permanent weight loss solution.

How Gastric Bypass works

The surgeon first staples and divides the top portion of your stomach, leaving a small stomach pouch. We then bypass the remainder of the stomach and approximately 100-150 cm of the small intestine called the duodenum. We re-route the remainder of the intestine up to the newly created stomach pouch. The bypassed area of the duodenum is reconnected down-stream to the functional intestine so digestive juices and enzymes can continue to help break down your food. This area of the intestine is not used to digesting high calorie foods and therefore gastric bypass patients may experience "dumping syndrome" with high fat or sugar foods.

Follow up is required at 2 weeks, 2 months, 6 months, then yearly for life.

Weight Loss: This is a combination procedure. It is restrictive, because your stomach pouch is smaller. It is malabsorptive because we bypass an area of your stomach and intestine which affect digestion. Stomach hormones are also altered with surgery which helps you feel less hungry and aid satiety. Typically patients lose approximately 60-80% of their excess weight over 12-18 months.

Other Considerations: gastric bypass often helps to quickly reduce many weight associated health problems such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infertility, and more.

Adjustable Gastric Banding (Lap-Band®)

Lap-band surgery involves placing an adjustable silicone band around the top portion of your stomach. This limits the amount of food your stomach can hold, helping you eat less and feel full on a smaller portion.

Lap-banding or adjustable gastric banding, involves the surgeon placing an adjustable band around the upper or top part of the stomach. This silicone band creates a new small stomach pouch. Tubing from the band is attached to a port located underneath the skin on the abdomen. This port is accessed to inflate or deflate your gastric band as needed for customizable restriction. The Lap-Band® reduces the amount of food that can be eaten at a meal and allows the food to pass through the digestive tract in the usual manner, allowing it to be fully absorbed into the body.

The key to the adjustable band is adjustments. Patients are asked to return every 4-6 weeks the first year until the band is optimally adjusted, and then the frequency of visits is reduced to 1-2 times per year and as needed. Lifelong follow up is required for all bariatric procedures done at Sanford.

Weight Loss: This is a purely restrictive procedure because there are no areas of the digestive tract that are altered. Weight loss is dependent on diet, exercise, and behavioral changes. Typically patients lose approximately 40 - 60% of their excess weight over 3-5 years.

See more about the in-depth look at lap-band surgery by clicking here.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Sleeve gastrectomy surgery involves removing the majority of your stomach which reduces the size of your remaining stomach. This allows you to eat less and feel full on a smaller portion while food passes through on its normal route.

During sleeve gastrectomy surgery, the surgeon laparoscopically removes 2/3 of the stomach leaving a narrow tube (sleeve) of stomach. The intestines remain intact, so that food passes through its normal route. This provides for quicker sense of fullness and decreased appetite, which reduces the amount of food you eat and thus the calories consumed.

Follow up is at 2 weeks, 2 months, 6 months, and then yearly and more frequently if needed.

Weight Loss: This is a combination procedure. It is restrictive because your stomach holds less food. It is also malabsorptive because we remove a portion of your stomach. Stomach hormones are also altered with surgery which helps you feel less hungry and aid satiety. Typically patients lose approximately 50-70% of their excess weight over 12-18 months.

Revisional Bariatric Surgery

If you have had bariatric surgery in the past and have regained weight or are experiencing a problem (such as extreme reflux), our surgeons also perform revisional surgery. Bariatric revision surgical options are extremely individualized. If you have questions, want to know your options or if you qualify for revision, arrange a consultation today.

To view Glossary of Terms for additional information about weight loss surgery. Click here

Qualifying for Surgery

Are you a candidate? See who qualifies for weight-loss surgery at Sanford Health.

If you would like additional information, please call to arrange a consultation with one of our bariatric surgeons at 605-328-3840 or (800) 727-0670, or click here to request more information online.