Gastric bypass surgery (“Roux-en-Y gastric bypass”) is a procedure that uses both restrictive and malabsorptive techniques to achieve weight loss. The procedure involves separating the stomach into a smaller, upper pouch and a larger, lower section. The small intestine is then divided and rerouted.
This surgery is the most common of all bariatric weight loss surgeries. Patients that undergo this surgery see incredible changes afterwards, including drastic weight loss and improvement in overall health.
Learn more about gastric bypass surgery, including the procedure, benefits and risks, and outcomes.
Gastric bypass surgery aims to reduce food and mineral intake. Food intake reduction is achieved through decreasing stomach volume. The rerouting of the small intestine reduces mineral intake. Altogether, with changes in diet, will lead to drastic weight loss.
Part I: The Stomach
First, we will divide the stomach into two parts. The smaller, upper pouch essentially becomes your new stomach. You will feel full sooner due to the smaller stomach only being able to hold roughly a cup of food. Unlike other procedures, namely the stomach sleeve, the newly separate larger part of the stomach is not removed. Basically, we bypass your original stomach.
Stomach stapling completes the division of your stomach. We do this laparoscopically to reduce the amount of incisions. This is essentially where the “restrictive technique” gets its name—you’re now restricted in how much food you can take in due to the smaller stomach.
Part II: The Intestines
Next, we reroute the small intestine. But before we get into that part of the procedure, allow us to explain the small intestine.
The small intestine is where most end absorption of food takes place. It is roughly 6 to 7 meters (19-22 feet) long in adults and is divided into three distinct parts.
The first part of the small intestine is the duodenum. This part begins the absorption of the nutrients and minerals during the digestive process. The second part is the jejunum, which accounts for nearly 40% of the length of the small intestine. Smaller particles that were not absorbed in the duodenum gets passed to the jejunum. The third and final part is the ileum, which the longest portion of the small intestine at nearly 60% of the total length. This part absorbs the Vitamin B12 and bile salts.
Anything that is not absorbed passes through to the large intestine, or colon.
This part of the surgery involves directly connecting the new, smaller stomach to the jejunum, bypassing the duodenum. This reduces your mineral and nutrient intake and helps with further weight loss. This is the “malabsorptive technique”. Essentially, your food will now directly go from your new stomach directly to your jejunum.
Surgery duration and post-surgery
Gastric bypass is a three-hour procedure, followed by a two-night stay in the hospital for post-surgery observation. You will be able to return to work within 1 to 3 weeks. You can resume your normal level of physical activity within 4 to 6 weeks.
Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery
The benefits of this surgery are enormous. With the smaller stomach, you being to fill full quickly and eat less. Patients lose between 10-20 pounds in the first month after surgery; within the first 12 post-surgery months, patients lose as much as 60 to 65% of their excess body weight.
Gastric bypass surgery has shown to improve health outcomes such as:
- Curing or improving type II diabetes
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Lowering cholesterol
- Lowering (or resolving) high blood pressure
- Curing fatty liver disease
- Helping (or curing) obstructive sleep apnea
- Curing infertility in women
- Dramatic reduction in morbidity risk
- Improves metabolic syndrome
- Lifestyle improvements
Please note that gastric bypass surgery is just one part of your weight loss journey. As always, proper diet and exercise is necessary to help keep the weight off and improve your health.
As with all bariatric surgeries, there are some risks. As such, it is important that you consider these risks while making a final decision about surgery. These risks include a moderate risk of non-serious complications, digestive issues, dental issues, sagging skin, and the possibly of some weight regain.
Your life will change tremendously after you have gastric bypass surgery. In fact, you will experience an improvement overall health as long as you follow the nutritional and supplemental guidelines. Not all life changes will be related to physical health—you might see your personal relationships change. Therefore, it is important that you consider all possible personal changes that might occur before going forward with surgery. The Monterrey Gastric and Bariatric Group will assist you in helping you make the best decision for you and your health.
Am I a candidate for gastric bypass surgery?
We encourage all prospective patients to contact us for a consultation and to learn more about this procedure. However, as a general guideline, a good candidate for gastric bypass surgery are those who:
- Have a morbidly obese body mass index of 40 or greater
- Have a body mass index between 30-39.9 with significant illnesses and complications related to obesity
- Those suffer from high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and fatty liver disease relating to obesity
We offer gastric bypass surgery packages starting at $7,200. Patients with a body mass index over (BMI) over 50 may incur additional costs. Pricing does not include airfare. However, surgical financing is available. Please contact us for more information.