Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric Bypass SurgeryGastric Bypass surgery has been performed in the United States for more than forty-five years. Because of this it is the surgery that has the most data associated with its long-term rates of success and complications.

You may also hear the gastric bypass surgery called the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

How Gastric Bypass Works

During gastric bypass surgery, Dr. Baptista divides the stomach into a small gastric “pouch” and the larger remaining portion by stapling and cutting the two sections.

He then cuts a loop of small intestine and brings it up to connect with the small stomach pouch. The other end of the cut intestine that is connected to the large stomach section and has bile and pancreatic enzymes is rejoined to the small intestine further down.

These results in a small stomach pouch that restricts the amount of food that can be eaten. It makes you feel satisfied sooner.  A significant amount of the stomach and small intestine is “bypassed” and no longer comes in contact with food. The bypassed area reduces the area of absorption of nutrition that now occurs in the small intestine.  Bile and pancreatic enzymes are needed to allow proper breakdown of the food and facilitate digestion. This is usually termed malabsorption and will induce further  weight loss capabilities of the surgery.

Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery

  • Long history of successful weight loss
  • Gastric bypass surgery results in about 60 percent excess weight loss
  • Gastric bypass requires no postoperative adjustments like those required by gastric band surgery.
  • The stomach is not removed in gastric bypass as it is in gastric sleeve
  • Significant reduction and resolution of diseases associated with obesity

Like other weight loss surgeries, gastric bypass surgery can also help patients reduce their risks of obesity-related disease such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers.

Risks of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery has some of the same risks as any other type of surgery, including risk of infection at the incision sites and development of blood clots. Your bariatric surgeon and surgical team will discuss all the risks of the procedure with you before surgery.

Gastric bypass has some specific risks:

  • Leaks at Staple lines: Both sides of the stomach are stapled to prevent leaks. In rare cases leaks can occur through the staples
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Malabsorptive procedures such as gastric bypass create a lifetime deficit in specific vitamins, protein, and minerals. Lifelong replacement of calcium, vitamin B and iron is usually required. Unfortunately your ability to absorb carbohydrates can and will improve. If the patient doesn’t change eating habits to correct one, the weight may come back. Unfortunately, the other nutritional deficiencies is permanent, requiring much bigger vitamin and nutrition replacement.
  • Dumping Syndrome: bypassing the valve at the base of the stomach called the pylorus can result in rapid emptying of the stomach after ingestion of food. In foods with high sugar content this can result in a shift of water into the intestines which results in a sudden onset of stomach cramps, nausea, dizziness and diarrhea called Dumping syndrome.

It is particularly important for you to adhere to post-operative follow up appointment, blood testing and nutrition supplement schedules after gastric bypass surgery.

Closely following dietary and lifestyle related changes suggested to you in our weight loss surgery guide after gastric bypass surgery will help you minimize nutrition deficits and weigh regain.

For More Information on Weight Loss Surgery.

For more information on bariatric surgery, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Baptista, please contact Florida Surgical Physicians today.

How Gastric Bypass Works