Gastric Bypass Surgery
The gastric bypass (more precisely the roux-en-y gastric bypass) is the most commonly performed weight loss surgery procedure in the United States. It is widely considered to be the gold standard in weight loss surgery because of the excellent potential for excess weight loss and obesity related disease improvement or resolution. Further, recent research has shown that a gastric bypass may alter the enzymes in the digestive system, possibly confirming the reasons behind improvement or resolution of type 2 diabetes within a few days or weeks after surgery. The gastric bypass combines both restriction and malabsorption for the highest potential weight loss of any major weight loss procedure.
How It Works:
The gastric bypass is performed in a minimally invasive manner. This means that several tiny incisions are made in the abdomen through which specialized medical devices are inserted. A specially made laparoscope – high definition camera – gives the surgeon a clear view of the abdomen to facilitate the procedure.
In the first part of the procedure, approximately 80% of the stomach is cut away. What’s left is a gastric pouch about the size of a golf ball. The new smaller stomach pouch will allow the patient to feel fuller sooner and will reduce the amount of food that can be consumed in any given sitting. The portion of the stomach that was cut away no longer receives food, but remains in the abdomen and is reconnected to the small intestine.
The second part of the procedure involves attaching a y shaped portion of the small intestine directly to the newly created pouch. The bypassing of part of the small intestine results in fewer calories being absorbed into the blood stream. This is called malabsorption.
Results will vary between patients. However the gastric bypass has, on average, the greatest potential for excess weight loss and resolution of obesity related diseases of any major weight loss procedure. Expectations will be discussed at consultation.
Advantages of the Gastric Bypass
- Rapid and sustained weight loss
- Highest comorbidity resolution rate of any major weight loss procedure
- Highest excess weight loss potential of any major weight loss procedure
- Is performed in a minimally invasive manner (less pain, shorter hospital stay than open surgery)
- Does not require the implantation of a medical device such as a gastric band
Risks and Considerations of the Gastric Bypass
- The procedure should not be considered reversible although it is a possibility in cases of need
- Patients must follow their simple prescribed supplement plan
- High fat and high sugar foods may cause dumping syndrome, an uncomfortable, but not life-threatening intolerance to these foods
- Increased flatulence that is easily treatable with OTC medication if necessary
- Remote possibility of staple line leakage requiring immediate care – we use a specialized instrument that applies 3 rows of staples to minimize this risk
- Other risks associated with any surgical procedure – all minimized by pre-op clearances and special protocols following surgery