Gastric Bypass Surgery

Statistics

Weight loss: Rapid. Lose 60-80% of excess body weight within 12 to 18 months.
Surgery time: 1.5 hours
Hospital stay: Typically 1 day
Recovery time: About 2–4 weeks

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and connecting the pouch directly to the small intestine. Because your stomach will be smaller, you will feel fuller with less food. After gastric bypass, the food you eat will go into this small pouch of stomach and then directly into the small intestine. Because your food will bypass most of your stomach and the upper part of your small intestine, your body will not get all of the calories from the food you eat. It is this combination of restricted food intake and malabsorption that leads to weight loss.

The procedure is usually performed laparoscopically using minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Potential Advantages

  • Rapid and significant long-term weight loss
  • Restricts the amount of food that can be consumed
  • Favorable changes in gut hormones resulting in
    • Suppressed hunger
    • Reduced appetite
    • Improve satiety (feeling of fullness)
  • No long-term medical device to be implanted in your body
  • No adjustments

Potential Disadvantages

  • Staple line leaks
  • Stricture or narrowing of opening to intestines
  • Long-term vitamin/mineral deficiencies (particularly vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and folate)
  • Dumping syndrome (when food passes through the system too fast resulting in severe cramping, nausea, sweats, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Requires adherence to dietary recommendations, life-long vitamin/mineral supplementation, and follow-up compliance