What is bypass surgery?

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Bypass surgery refers to a major surgical procedure that is typically prescribed for medical conditions that no longer respond well to other forms of treatment like medication and other non-invasive procedures.  This procedure basically involves creating an alternative route or vessel to help repair a blocked blood vessel or intestine for example. Bypass surgeries are commonly applied to blood vessels of the heart or to the area of the stomach and intestines.

In the case of bypass surgery involving the heart, the affected vessels are the coronary vessels. When these structures are blocked or damaged for example, the condition will basically block the flow of blood into and away from the heart.  When this happens, the pumping action of the heart will not be efficient in terms of delivering nutrient-rich blood to other major organs of the body and the rest of the extremities.  In order to repair the damaged coronary vessel, a bypass or alternative route must be created for the blood to pass through more efficiently.  Other vessels in the heart may be used as the bypass vessel or these may be sourced from the blood vessels in the legs for example.  The basic goal is to reconnect the affected parts with the bypass vessel through surgery in order to promote normal blood flow.  This procedure is typically the last option for people with coronary artery disease.

For bypass surgery involving the stomach and small intestines, the procedure is called gastric bypass surgery.  In this case, part of the stomach will be created with a new connection to the small intestines. The result will be a smaller volume for the stomach and changes in the body are processing of food.  This type of bypass surgery is often prescribed to obese individuals who wish to get a leaner figure and possibly avoid complications such as diabetes and heart disease.

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