Roux-en-Y gastric bypass has the longest history of any weight loss procedure in the United States and remains the most frequently performed of the bariatric surgeries
During gastric bypass surgery, your surgeon laparoscopically divides your stomach into a small pouch at the base of the esophagus, the tube through which food travels after it is swallowed. The small pouch becomes your new stomach or gastric pouch and can store about two ounces of food. The remaining, larger portion of your stomach remains in place and continues to produce digestive juices and enzymes as usual.
Next, your surgeon divides part of your small intestine, called the jejunum, and attaches one end to the gastric pouch and the other lower down to the small intestine. This effectively bypasses the first part of the small intestine known as the duodenum, removing it from its normal role of digesting and absorbing food. This results in fewer calories being absorbed and leads to weight loss.
Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery has an excellent history of weight loss and is preferred by many people because developing the eating habits required for success after bariatric surgery may be easier than with adjustable gastric band. Most people find that their appetite is significantly reduced after gastric bypass, enabling them to focus on behavior change and developing habits for maintaining weight loss in the long-term.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with abdominal surgery that include infection, bleeding disorders, injury to internal structures, and the potential for death.
In addition, gastric bypass surgery relies on changing the anatomy of your digestive system and reducing the amount of food that can be absorbed through your small intestines. Because of these changes, the following complications can occur after gastric bypass surgery:
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Dumping syndrome
- Anastomotic leakage
The complication rates after gastric bypass surgery are low, but you should be aware of potential complications and take the time to discuss them and any other concerns you may have with your bariatric surgeon.