Gastric bypass achieves safe, long-lasting weight loss and improvement in obesity-related diseases. Your surgeon will help you decide if this is the right operation for you.
How does it work?
During a gastric bypass procedure, also known as a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, your surgeon will create a stomach pouch about the size of a small egg, out of the top portion of your stomach then will attach it directly to your small intestine. This bypasses a large part of your stomach and upper intestine.
The procedure is usually done using small incisions in the abdomen (laparoscopic technique) or by creating a large incision in the abdomen (open technique).
After gastric bypass, your appetite will be markedly diminished and you will feel full after eating a small portion of food.
What are the risks?
Gastric bypass is very safe, but it is still major surgery. Complications include leakage from the connections made in the intestine, blood clots, bleeding, pneumonia and infections. Long-term complications (about 5-7 percent of the time) include hernias, ulcers, narrowing of the connections made in the intestine and nutritional issues.
It is rare that such problems are life-threatening; the vast majority can be treated, although in some cases such treatment may include a second operation. Your surgeon will discuss these potential risks with you.
What are the benefits?
Gastric bypass can offer very good long-term results.
Weight loss after gastric bypass is approximately 60 percent of excess weight in most people (meaning weight that is carried above your ideal body weight), although you may lose more. Greater than 80 percent of people who have this surgery will experience improvement in related diseases such as diabetes, sleep apnea and high blood pressure.