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Gastric Bypass Surgery: The Physical And Emotional Effects

Todays Date: November 12, 2018

Gastric bypass surgery is class of procedures used to treat morbid obesity and the resultant health problems. Morbid obesity is defined as having a BMI of over 40 but less that 50. The adverse effect that this excessive fat can have on other body systems may result in heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, and joint problems due to overburden. Apart from the medical complications, obesity is also associated with low self-esteem and depression. The burden of obesity in industrialized countries is great. According to recent estimates, the number of individuals in the U.S. who are obese is huge, more than 30%, and this number keeps increasing. About 3% of people (6.8 million) were found to be morbidly obese in 2005, which is significantly up from 2 % (4.2 million) only five years previously. (RAND 2005) modest results, at best, are seen with diet drug such as orlistat. This has fueled interest in other modes of treatment such as bariatric surgery. Gastric bypass surgery (GBP) is the most common procedure (65%) that is carried out, but comes with its own risks and side effects.
The procedure aims to reduce the capacity of the stomach by dividing it into two sections and creating a connection to the small intestine and the first section. This connection can be made in different ways and so there are various subtypes of this procedure. This way less food can be eaten comfortably and less calories absorbed, and the physiological and psychological response to food is also changed. Success rates for this procedure are around 75%, and the average person loses at least half of the excess weight in a period of 18 months. Around fifteen thousand people undergo this procedure every year in the United States.
As with any procedure, there are a number of complications related to it; bad technique or failure of surgery resulting in hernias, abdominal leaks and abscesses requires about 20% of the people who have had GBP to undergo additional procedures. The overall complication rate is 7% for laparotomy and around 14% for open incision procedures in the first month post surgery. Another phenomenon known as the ‘dumping syndrome’ may occur. This happens because the pyloric valve at the end of the stomach is no longer used to control the amount of food that passes into the small intestine. Therefore, whenever a sugary meal is eaten, it quickly passes into the bowel causing symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating and anxiety. This uncomfortable state persists for about 30-45 minutes.
Intolerance to food such as milk or red meat post GBP may result in nutrition deficiencies such as anemia and osteoporosis that 30% of patients suffer from. Hyperparathyroidism from lack of absorption of calcium, and supplemental Vitamin D has to be taken. Neuropathies results from Vitamin B12 deficiency, as an important chemical that aids absorption, produced by the stomach is itself deficient.history essay

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