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Myths and Facts About Gastric Bypass

Feb 02, 2024

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Myths and Facts About Gastric Bypass

Regarded as the safest and most effective bariatric weight-loss approach, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is still subject to myths and misconceptions. Some of these stem from other, older bariatric surgeries and don’t apply to today’s procedures and the results they produce. 

Dr. Amir Mehran and the team at University Bariatrics specialize in Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and revision surgery for many other techniques. Regarded as the finest bariatric surgeon in Southern California, Dr. Mehran wants to help you understand the truth about gastric bypass. We’ve prepared this primer to dispel the misconceptions about this safe and life-saving surgery. 

Myth: gastric bypass is a cosmetic procedure

While a patient’s appearance may benefit from the significant weight loss that results from gastric bypass, aesthetics are not the primary goal of the surgery. The focus of the Roux-en-Y procedure is reversing obesity-related health conditions that have already begun, as well as preventing further health deterioration that would likely continue without surgery. 

Myth: gastric bypass has a long, painful recovery with complications

While every surgical procedure carries risks, gastric bypass techniques today represent a vast improvement over procedures in previous decades when many existing myths were formed, the principal refinement is the addition of laparoscopic surgery. 

While bariatric procedures once required large incisions to access the stomach and digestive system, gastric bypass now uses special instruments working through small keyhole incisions. Laparoscopic techniques reduce the risk of surgical complications and increase the speed of recovery. 

Myth: the foods you eat change forever

Many surgeries require a period of adjustment as your body recovers and adjusts to post-surgical changes. Gastric bypass is no different. 

For example, you might need restricted motion and physical therapy after shoulder surgery to regain capability. Similarly, you must return to normal eating immediately after your gastric bypass. While your eating patterns will change, there will be few restrictions on the foods you love, in moderation, as you heal. 

Myth: gastric bypass is risky

Every surgery balances benefits against risks. Obesity leads to a wide range of life-threatening conditions, and when a patient can’t achieve or maintain weight loss through other means, the benefits of gastric bypass become enormous. According to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the mortality rate of all bariatric surgery is about 0.1%. The risk of premature death due to obesity-related conditions drops by almost 90% after weight loss surgery. 

Myth: all bariatric approaches are the same

There are many types of bariatric surgery, each using its theory and techniques. As the field of surgical weight loss evolved, certain approaches established themselves as statistics and successes emerged. 

Today, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass represents the gold standard in bariatric surgery approaches. Dr. Mehran has extensive experience performing laparoscopic Roux-en-Y procedures that lead to weight loss of up to 150 pounds in the first year. 

This technique not only limits the size of the stomach pouch but also bypasses the hormonally active part of the small intestine, changing how your body feels hungry. 

Learn more about the truth of gastric bypass in conversation with Dr. Mehran and his team at University Bariatrics. Book your visit online or by calling our nearest location today.