What is Gastric Bypass Sugery?

Patients who undergo gastric bypass procedure, or Roux-en-Y, will experience an early sense of fullness and reduced desire to eat, allowing them to lose excess weight and reduce the risk of weight-related health issues.

Patients who work with our nutrition, fitness and mental health experts to make lifestyle changes after gastric bypass surgery will see the best results.

  • Two years after surgery, weight loss averages 70 percent of excess body weight.
  • Studies show that after 10 to 14 years, patients maintain most of their weight loss, on average losing 50 percent of excess body weight.
  • A study of 500 patients showed that 96 percent of some health conditions (back pain, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression) improved or resolved.

How Does Gastric Bypass Work?

In most cases, gastric bypass surgery is a laparoscopic - or minimally-invasive - procedure. The surgeon works with instruments and a camera inserted through small incisions in the abdomen.

Gastric Bypass surgery does two things:

  • It uses staples to create a small stomach pouch that holds just under an ounce. A smaller stomach means you feel full faster.
  • It connects this stomach pouch to the middle of the small intestine, just past the duodenum. Bypassing a portion of the small intestine reduces how much food your body absorbs.

The procedure does not remove the remainder of your stomach, which is stapled shut inside of you. The other end of your small intestine is connected to the Roux limb, creating the "Y" shape that gives this surgery its name.

How Much Does Gastric Bypass Cost?

The cost of the procedure depends on multiple factors. In some cases, a gastric bypass can be covered or partially covered by your health care insurance. To learn more, speak with our bariatric staff or learn about your health care coverage.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: What Are the Risks?

As with any elective surgery, patients who undertake a Gastric Bypass must weigh the health benefits against any possible risks. Bypassing the duodenum causes the body to absorb fewer nutrients in addition to less food and calories. Risks may include:

  • Poor Iron Absorption/Anemia - Can be problematic for patients with chronic blood loss - such as excessive menstrual flow or bleeding hemorrhoids
  • Heightened Bone Calcium Loss - Women already at risk for osteoporosis should be aware of this risk. May result in bone pain, loss of height, humped back and fractures of the ribs and hip bones in patients who do not eat a proper diet and take vitamin supplements
  • Chronic Anemia due to Vitamin B12 Deficiency - Can be managed through B12 pills or injections
  • "Dumping Syndrome" - When patients eat foods too high in sugar or fat, the stomach may rapidly empty its contents into the small intestine, causing nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness and diarrhea. Some patients are unable to eat any sweets after surgery.

After surgery, the bypassed stomach, duodenum and small intestine segments may be hard to see on X-rays or with endoscopy. Patients who experience unrelated ulcers, bleeding or malignancy should be aware of this result.