Gastric bypass surgery is the most common type of weight loss surgery performed in the U.S. The procedure helps you lose weight by altering your digestive tract, restricting the absorption of food your intestine can perform. Like other types of weight loss surgery, gastric bypass is usually reserved for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, or for patients with a BMI between 35 and 40 who also have one or more obesity-related medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea.

How gastric bypass surgery works

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery uses a two-prong approach to maximize results:

First, the stomach is physically divided into two parts, a larger lower portion and a smaller upper “pouch” portion that is about the size of an egg. This pouch becomes your “new” stomach. Since it’s significantly smaller than your “normal” stomach, holding about an ounce of food, you’ll feel not as hungry sooner and for a longer period of time, decreasing your overall consumption of calories.

Next, the pouch is connected to the middle of small intestine, bypassing the upper portion where much of the digestive process occurs. This will prevent food from entering the upper portion of the small intestine, and the contact of bile and pancreatic enzymes that assist digestion of food. The consequence is the food absorption is significantly limited.

Benefits of Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery offers several significant benefits:

  • The larger portion of the stomach is not resected as in the sleeve gastrectomy
  • It can  be performed using  a minimally invasive technique, which means faster healing and fewer complications
  • It offers the potential for more weight loss compared to some other approaches
  • There is no adjustments after surgery

Gastric bypass surgery can also reduce or treat other obesity-related health conditions, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Joint pain

Risks of Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery will induce a lifetime protein, vitamin, and some other minerals and nutrients malabsorption. It will require a lifetime monitoring and supplementation of those elements. It may cause vitamin or mineral deficiency, dehydration, low blood sugar, or gallstones in some patients. Gastric bypass surgery can cause dumping syndrome, which typically occurs after eating foods that is high in osmolality, such sugary foods or other foods that are hard to digest. Symptoms of dumping syndrome include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

To avoid dumping syndrome and other risks, follow the dietary and lifestyle guidelines prescribed by your doctor.

Florida Surgical Physicians is recognized as a leading weight loss surgery center, offering world-class advanced surgical care using state-of-the-art technology in a comfortable, licensed facility.

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.