Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery, an overview

January 2, 2007 · Filed Under Weight Loss Surgery 

There are numerous types of weight loss surgeries. One of the most common and successful procedures is called Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery. This is a combined restrictive and malabsorptive form of surgery.  The restrictive part of the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass will limit your food intake without interfering with your normal digestive process. The operation will decrease your stomach size forming a smaller pocket to hold your food and therefore causing you to eat less. Because it is smaller, you will also feel more satisfied, or full, when consuming smaller portions of food. The malabsorptive section will also effect the amount of calories and nutrients your body absorbs. 

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery involves two steps. The first step will reduce the size of your stomach by stapling it into two sections and creating a small pouch. This new pouch is what will now serve as your stomach. 

The second part of the surgery is the malabsorptive element. This involves surgically dividing the small intestine and attaching it to the newly created pouch, or stomach. The other end is sewn back onto the small intestine. This resembles a “Y” and allows your food to go straight to your stomach while bypassing your lower stomach. The food will go past the first part of your small intestine known as the duodenum, as well as the second part of the small intestine called the jejunum. This step will reduce the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed into your body. 

With some patients, the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery can be performed with a laparoscope (small thin tubes with video cameras attached) instead of an open incision. If your procedure is done this way, your surgeon will make several small incisions and use the two or three laparoscopes to guide his way through the surgery. He will actually use TV monitors as he performs the surgery. Having the surgery done laparoscopically can reduce the length of your hospital stay, reduce the amount of scarring and result in a quicker recovery then if you had an open procedure. 

In some cases, a cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) may be performed at the same time to avoid the possibility of gallstones forming from the rapid weight loss. 

Though this surgery should be thought of as a permanent procedure, it can be reversed if there is an emergency. You also need to realize that if you do not change your eating habits and lifestyle, you can gain back the weight. 


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