When it comes to a gastric bypass surgical procedure, there are multiple ways that the surgery may be performed in order to aid their individual in their weight loss goals. Gastric bypass surgery is only intended for individuals that are considered extremely obese, meaning that the individual must be 100 pounds or more overweight, and each individual has a unique case that may be better served by a specific type of gastric bypass. Currently, there are three different ways that a gastric bypass may be performed, with the most popular method being the gastric bypass, roux en-Y (proximal).
All three types of gastric bypass surgery are performed in nearly the same manner with small variations occurring for each different type of surgical procedure. The first step is to divide the stomach into a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower pouch. The upper portion of the stomach is the portion that will receive the food and handle digestion while the lower portion of the stomach will receive no food, greatly reducing the amount of food that can be eaten by the patient at any one time.
After the stomach has been separated into the two separate areas, the small intestine is modified to allow both portions of the stomach to stay attached to and drain into the small intestine. This is where the different versions of the gastric bypass come into play, as there are several different ways that the small intestine can be reattached to the stomach. Each different way or reattaching the small intestine creates a different scenario for the absorbing of calories and nutrients into the body, with some methods allowing more to pass through than others.
Roux En-Y or Proximal
The gastric bypass, roux en-Y (proximal) method of the surgical procedure is the most commonly used type of gastric bypass surgery, which makes it the most common bariatric surgical procedure in the world. It is the method that is least likely to result in nutritional problems and allows the body to get more of the nutrients that it needs out of the small amounts of food that the patient will be able to eat in a single sitting. In this type of gastric bypass, the divided portions of the stomach are reattached to the small intestine at the upper, or proximal, part of the small intestine, allowing the food to pass through more of the small intestine and allowing more nutrition to be extracted from the food.
Surgical Staple Complications
A number of issues have arisen from gastric bypass, roux en-Y (proximal) surgeries, with a large number of the problems arising from the surgical staples used in the procedure and the stapler used to position the staples. The staples and staplers are generally manufactured by one of two companies, either Ethicon or US Surgical, which provides nearly 100% of the surgical staplers and staples used in bariatric surgical procedures. It has been found that in some cases the staples have not closed properly, allowing the contents of the stomach to enter the abdominal cavity and causing a large number of complications which could be life-threatening.
To date, the US Food and Drug Administration has received more than 9,000 reports of complications and nearly 100 reports of deaths associated with the failure of the staples. It is estimated that nearly 40% of the individuals that undergo bariatric surgery, including a gastric bypass, will experience some type of adverse complication within the first six months after the surgery has been performed.
Defective Sugical Stapler Alert
In May 2007, a jury found that a woman’s death was caused by a defective surgical stapler. The jury awarded the victim’s family $5 million.
To date, the FDA has received reports of approximately 100 deaths related to surgical staplers. In addition, they have received approximately 9,000 reports of “adverse events”, including injuries and complications from surgical staples and the stapler unit itself.