Is Gastric Bypass Surgery For You?

by Robert Clunie

The reality of weight-loss surgery:

gastric bypass

IN 1999 reality star-turned-talk show host Sharon Osbourne underwent gastric bypass surgery. But while some swear by the procedure, the star of The Talk says she felt like a cheat, which is why she had the band removed in 2006 and now maintains her weight with diet and exercise.

Years after having the surgery, Osbourne admitted she felt like a ‘cheat’ because she wasn’t losing the kilograms healthily. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, she said, “I felt like such a cheat when I had that band on my stomach. It makes you vomit the whole time. Nothing goes down because it goes out.” The mom-of-three now controls her weight by sticking to the low carbohydrate Atkins diet, and admits she does have cheat days.

“I’d be fibbing if I said I don’t cheat because I do cheat. I cheat a lot on my diet. We all do, but I don’t guilt myself out because the next day I’ll start with my Atkins breakfast sandwich and I’m right back on it.” The truth is though that Sharon wasn’t the first and certainly wasn’t the last, er, big name to opt for the procedure.

Former American Idol judge Randy Jackson had gastric bypass surgery in 2003, dropping over 45kg after having the procedure. Disgraced TV star Roseanne Barr also had gastric bypass surgery, in 1998 (she’s been public about her decision to go under the knife, jesting, “I had my entire digestive system removed, so I should look thinner.”) And celebrity chef Graham Elliot was another star to go under the knife for the big op – he had sleeve gastrectomy surgery in 2013, and says he made the decision to have the procedure to benefit his family, after reaching nearly 181kg. So, just what is it all about?

What Is It?

gastric bypass

GASTRIC bypass surgery is the most common type of weight-loss surgery. According to, ‘gastric bypass and other types of weight-loss surgery, collectively known as bariatric surgery, make surgical changes to your stomach and digestive system that limit how much food you can eat and how many nutrients you absorb, leading to weight loss’.

Who Is It For?

gastric bypass

WHILE it may sound very appealing, experts warn that like any major procedure, it has significant health risks and side-effects. What’s more, the long-term success of gastric bypass surgery isn’t guaranteed at all. It depends on your ability to make permanent changes in your lifestyle.

There Are Serious Evaluations:

gastric bypass

AS you can see below, there are certain criteria you have to meet before you can undergo the op – but even meeting those isn’t a guarantee. When conducting an evaluation for gastric bypass surgery, the health care team considers:

  • Your nutrition and weight history.
  • Your medical condition.
  • Your psychological status.
  • Your motivation.
  • Your age.

Can Anyone Qualify?

MAYOCLIONIC.ORG explains that while weight-loss surgery can help reduce your risk of weigh related health problems – such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and sleep apnoea – it can also pose major risks and complications. You may need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for the surgery. It may be an option for you if:

  • Efforts to lose weight with diet and exercise have been unsuccessful.
  • Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher.
  • Your BMI is 35 or more and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnoea.
  • You’re a teenager who’s gone through puberty, your BMI is 35 or more, and you have serious obesity-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes or severe sleep apnoea.

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