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gastric bypass

Gastric bypass surgery consists of dividing the stomach into two unequal parts and bypassing the early portion of the intestine. The surgeon uses surgical staples to form a small gastric pouch in upper part of the stomach. This new gastric pouch is connected to varying lengths of your own small intestine and constructed into a Y-shaped limb (hence the name Roux-en-Y). The surgeons at Christiana Institute of Advanced Surgery perform this procedure using minimally invasive techniques.

After gastric bypass surgery, the food bypasses a large portion of the small intestine and helps the body to absorb fewer calories. Since the storage capacity of the stomach is reduced, and the outlet is restricted, a person gets full fast. In addition, food enters the small bowel without mixing with the digestive juices from the liver and pancreas. As a result food high in sugar and fat is not efficiently digested or absorbed and some of the calories are not absorbed. Following surgery, you will meet with a dietitian to discuss short-term and long-term nutritional needs.

The amount of weight each patient will lose depends on multiple factors including your genetic makeup, activity level, choice of operation and numerous other factors. On average, 85% of gastric bypass patients go on to lose 66% or more of their excess weight. Keep in mind that your surgery is only a tool to help you lose weight. Patients who adhere to a healthy diet and exercise routine frequently can reach a weight close to their ideal body weight and maintain it. Those that only rely on surgery and do not change their behavior and become more active will not have the same result.

In addition to significant weight loss, there are also health and quality of life benefits to having gastric bypass surgery. Studies found that gastric bypass:

  • Resolved type 2 diabetes in 83.8% of patients and often resolved the disease within days of surgery*
  • Resolved high blood pressure in 67.5% of patients*
  • Improved high cholesterol in 95% of patients*
  • Improved the overall quality of life, physical functioning, and social and economic opportunities

  • An increased risk of nutrient deficiency and, occasionally, malnutrition can occur.
  • A condition known as dumping syndrome can occur from eating high-fat, high-sugar foods. The results can be very unpleasant and may include vomiting, nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, and diarrhea.
  • Patients must supplement their diet with a daily multivitamin and calcium, and in some cases. vitamin B12 and/or iron.
  • The stomach, duodenum, and parts of the small intestine cannot be seen easily using X ray or endoscopy if there are problems after surgery such as ulcers, bleeding, or malignancy.

*Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA 2004;292(14):1724-37.

Related Topics: Gastric Band, Gastric Sleeve, Duodenal Switch

CHRIAS surgeons perform weight loss procedures at Centers of Excellence. The ASMBS and ASC recognizes programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.