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Gastric bypass procedures (GBP) are any of a group of similar operations used to treat morbid obesityâ€”the severe accumulation of excess weight as fatty tissueâ€”and the health problems (comorbidities) it causes. Bariatric surgery is the term encompassing all of the surgical treatments for morbid obesity, not just gastric bypasses, which make up only one class of such operations.A gastric bypass first divides the stomach into a small upper pouch and a much larger, lower “remnant” pouch and then re-arranges the small intestine to allow both pouches to stay connected to it. Surgeons have developed several different ways to reconnect the intestine, thus leading to several different GBP names. Any GBP leads to a marked reduction in the functional volume of the stomach, accompanied by an altered physiological and psychological response to food. The resulting weight loss, typically dramatic, markedly reduces comorbidities. The long-term mortality rate of gastric bypass patients has been shown to be reduced by up to 40%; however, complications are common and surgery-related death occurs within one month in 2% of patients.
Gastric bypass is indicated for the surgical treatment of morbid obesity, a diagnosis which is made when the patient is seriously obese, has been unable to achieve satisfactory and sustained weight loss by dietary efforts, and is suffering from co-morbid conditions which are either life-threatening or a serious impairment to the quality of life.In the past, serious obesity was interpreted to mean weighing at least 100Â pounds (45 kg) more than the “ideal body weight”, an actuarially determined body weight at which one was estimated to be likely to live the longest, as determined by the life insurance industry. This criterion failed for persons of short stature.