Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most popular types of weight-loss surgery in the U.S. It “works” by altering the digestive tract, bypassing a portion of the stomach and intestine to help patients consume and absorb fewer calories.* Because gastric bypass both restricts the amount of food that’s consumed and the number of calories that are absorbed, it’s considered a restrictive and malabsorptive type of weight-loss surgery.
The procedure begins by dividing the stomach into two portions - a large lower pouch and a smaller upper pouch that’s roughly the size of a ping pong ball or large walnut. This upper portion will act as the “new” stomach, and because it’s so much smaller, patients will feel full after consuming just a small amount of food.* Next, the upper pouch is connected directly to the small intestine, below the upper portion of the intestine where the junction with the stomach normally occurs. The new attachment bypasses the first portions of the small intestine (the duodenum and the jejunum) where much of the digestive process and calorie absorption takes place. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery can be performed laparoscopically using small incisions and a special scope equipped with a tiny camera to “see” inside the surgical cavity. In a few cases, the surgery may be performed using a larger open incision.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery can be a great option for patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, or for those with a BMI between 35 and 40 who also have an obesity-related medical condition like type 2 diabetes or hypertension. Patients who have gastric bypass surgery must be prepared to make a lifelong commitment to changing their dietary habits so they can avoid discomfort and achieve maximum benefits from their surgery. That means avoiding foods high in fats and sugars and consuming only small amounts during mealtimes, as well as following other restrictions. Because gastric bypass significantly limits the amount of food that’s consumed and the nutrients that are absorbed, patients also must be prepared to take dietary supplements to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
*Individual Results May Vary.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!