What is Gastric Bypass Weight Loss Surgery?
During roux-en-y gastric bypass weight loss surgery, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch. A piece of small intestine is then cut and reconnected to this stomach pouch, thereby rerouting the normal pathway for food. This results in a reduction in the volume of the stomach while also interrupting the digestion and absorption of calories in the small intestine.
The majority of gastric bypass surgeries performed today use a laparoscopic technique, which is minimally invasive. Laparoscopic surgery usually results in a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and less pain than open surgical procedures. The length of surgery varies from 2-4 hours and the average hospital stay is about 2 days. Patients usually return to normal activities in 2 weeks and are fully recovered in 3 weeks.
What are the benefits of gastric bypass?
Studies have shown that patients lost an average of 65% of their excess weight and experienced improvements with Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea, heart disease and arthritis. The gastric bypass is the “gold standard” operation for weight loss, has been used for several decades and has excellent results for weight loss and improvement of medical comorbidities.
What about quality-of-life improvements?
Clinical studies of laparoscopic weight loss surgery patients found that they felt better, spent more time doing recreational and physical activities, benefited from enhanced productivity and economic opportunities, and had more self-confidence than they did prior to surgery. Even with all its benefits, gastric bypass may not be for everyone. Only you and your surgeon can decide if bariatric weight loss surgery is appropriate for you. Potential bariatric surgery complications may include:
- Perforation of stomach/intestine or leakage, causing peritonitis or abscess
- Internal bleeding requiring transfusion
- Severe wound infection, opening of the wound, incisional hernia
- Organ injuries
- Vomiting or nausea/inability to eat certain foods/improper eating
- Inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis), acid reflux (heartburn)
- Problems with the outlet of the stomach (narrowing or stretching) or intestine (blockage)
- Development of gallstones or gallbladder disease
- Stomach or outlet ulcers (peptic ulcer)
- Staple-line disruption
- Weight gain, failure to lose satisfactory weight
- Minor wound or skin infection/scarring, deformity, loose skin
- Dumping syndrome