Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is considered by many surgeons to be the gold standard in weight loss surgery. The gastric bypass combines both restriction and malabsorption to offer exceptional weight loss potential along with the significant improvement or elimination of many diseases associated with morbid obesity. The gastric bypass is performed in a minimally invasive manner meaning that several small incisions are made in the abdomen through which specially made laparoscopic instruments are inserted. When compared to traditional open gastric bypass surgery, the laparoscopic approach often means less pain, less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and fewer complications during and after surgery.
How It Works
First, the surgeon will separate approximately 80% of the existing stomach leaving a small gastric pouch about the size and shape of a egg. A specially made instrument creates a staple line to completely seal the contents of the stomach. This is the restrictive portion of the procedure, which limits the amount of food the patient can eat in any given sitting.
The second part of the procedure involves bypassing a significant portion of the small intestine, also known as the duodenum. The stomach is then surgically reattached to a lower portion of the small intestine. The result is that fewer calories can be absorbed into the blood as a result of the reduced surface area in the small intestine.
Results of the Gastric Bypass
Results of the gastric bypass vary between patients. In general, patients lose a significant amount of excess weight (60-80%) and have excellent comorbidity resolution and improvement rates. In fact, the gastric bypass offers the greatest potential for excess weight loss of any major bariatric procedure. Patients should speak to their surgeon to learn more about the potential outcomes of a gastric bypass.
What are the Benefits of Gastric Bypass?
- Rapid initial weight loss
- Greatest potential for excess weight loss among the three major bariatric surgeries
- Excellent obesity related disease resolution or improvement rates
- No permanently implanted medical device
Risks and Consideration
- Cannot be adjusted (except by a revisional surgery) or reversed
- Significant dietary restrictions and the potential for nutritional deficiencies. Patients will need to take life-long nutritional supplements
- The possibility of dumping syndrome, a non-life-threatening condition in which food passes through the stomach and into the intestine too quickly. This can often be avoided by minimizing the consumption of high-fat and high sugar foods.
- Potential for the staple line to leak requiring emergency attention
- The gastric bypass is major surgery and comes with inherent risks such as pain, blood loss, infection and rarely, death (.05%)
If you would like more information on the gastric bypass, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with us. At this consultation, you will learn more about the benefits and risks of the gastric bypass and whether you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery.
You may also learn more about our other procedures including the gastric sleeve and gastric band.