Gastric Bypass vs. Implantable Gastric Stimulation2019-01-26T06:53:29+00:00

Gastric Bypass vs. Implantable Gastric Stimulation Device

Gastric Bypass (Roux-En-Y)

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Overview

Gastric bypass surgery is sometimes completed laparoscopically. It typically takes several hours. During the procedure, the surgeon will staple off the upper section of the stomach so it is just a small pouch, about the size of an egg. This pouch is then attached to a part of the small intestine called the Roux limb. This forms a “Y” shape, which is why this procedure is often referred to as Roux-en-Y. This not only reduces the amount of food the patient can consume, it also forces the food to bypass the rest of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. After the procedure, the amount of fat and calories that is absorbed from food is reduced and so is the amount of vitamins and minerals. Dramatic weight loss is common after this procedure, and it can also help to reduce or eliminate other health-related problems, such as heartburn, reflux, and other conditions that are common in overweight individuals.

Patient Eligibility

The ideal candidate will have a BMI over 40 or a BMI between 35 and 40 and a weight-related health condition, such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes.

Average Weight Loss Results

The amount of weight loss depends upon the patient’s adherence to diet and lifestyle changes, but on average, people will lose about 100 pounds after gastric bypass surgery. Weight loss typically happens fairly quickly. One year after the surgery, weight loss stops and a patient’s weight stabilizes. At this time, it is very important to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits in order to not regain the weight that was lost.

Recovery Time

Patients are often required to stay in the hospital for a day or two after surgery. An all-liquid diet is required during the first week or two; soft foods are then slowly added into the patient’s diet, and within a month of surgery, regular food can be consumed. Normal activities can also typically be resumed at this time.

Common Side Effects

Patients may experience body aches, dry skin, mood changes, temporary hair thinning, tiredness, and feeling cold during the first year following surgery. This is due to the rapid weight loss. Once the weight loss stops, these symptoms usually go away.

Cost

Some insurances will cover part of the cost of gastric bypass surgery. In the US costs range anywhere between $8,000 and $27,000 without insurance.

References:
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/gastroenterology/roux-en-y_gastric_bypass_weight-loss_surgery_135,65

Implantable Gastric Stimulation Device

Overview

Implantable gastric stimulation is a relatively new way to treat obesity. It does not change a patient’s anatomy or rely on malabsorption issues for weight loss, and it takes less than an hour to complete. It is also reversible. Using a laparoscopic approach, a device that is an electrical pulse generator, similar to a pacemaker, is implanted along the front part of the abdomen. Electrode leads are then placed in the gastric muscular wall. Once the surgery is complete and the patient has recovered, the device will be turned on, and the gastric stimulation will begin. The purpose of the device is to make patients feel fuller faster, which may help with overeating and binge eating. It is believed that when the device stimulates the stomach, a message is sent to the brain telling it that it is full.

Patient Eligibility

The ideal candidate for this procedure has a BMI over 40 or a BMI between 35 and 40 plus serious weight-related health problems.

Average Weight Loss Results

Since this is a relatively new procedure, there is not a large amount of data available regarding weight loss results. In general, it appears that patients typically lose between 5 and 17 percent of excess body weight from implantable gastric stimulation. It has been reported that some patients did not lose any weight and others actually gained weight after this procedure. Approximately 80 percent of patients have reported some weight loss, and 60 percent lost more than 10 percent of their body weight within 2 ½ years. In general, it appears that diet and lifestyle changes are necessary for weight loss to occur.

Recovery Time

Most patients are given approximately 4 weeks to recover from the procedure. Once the recovery is complete, the stimulation will begin.

Common Side Effects

Possible side effects from this procedure include abdominal pain, generalized pain, fever, and flatulence. Nausea, constipation, and hypoglycemia may also occur, but they are relatively rare.

Cost

The cost of this procedure varies, but it is likely to fall somewhere around $15,000 in the US. Insurance may or may not pay for a portion of this procedure.

References:
https://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1242&context=pa