Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
As we explain to our patients at our Manhattan bariatric surgery program in New York, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery for weight loss involves several steps. First, the size of the stomach is reduced by dividing it with gastric staples thus creating a small stomach or gastric pouch (called a “gastrojejunostomy”) at the upper part of the stomach.
The small intestine is then divided into two segments – the Roux limb and the biliopancreatic limb. The Roux limb is brought up and connected to the new pouch so the new pouch can empty food contents into the bowel. The result of the altered digestive tract is that the lower stomach and a portion of the small intestine is bypassed. “Roux-en-Y” refers to the Y-shaped appearance of the altered small intestine after the bypass is performed.
Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Reduced post surgery pain, recovery time and time off work compared to an open procedure.
- Often described as the “gold standard” for weight loss surgery in the United States and most frequently performed in this country.
- At two years, average weight loss is 70-80% of excess weight.
- Hypertension and diabetes are clinically reversed or improved in over 90% of patients
- Dumping (an uncomfortable physical reaction) can occur with foods high in fat and sugar which can help modify eating behavior.
- Almost no risk of incisional hernias after the operation (sometimes as much as 20% of open operations will have this problem).
Risks (Short-term) of Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Leaks can occur from the gastrojejunostomy and from where the intestines are hooked back up together (3%)
- The risk of death from surgery is 0.5%
Risks (Long-term) of Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Vitamin and iron deficiencies can occur
- Without diet and exercise, after 12-18 months, 10-30% of the weight lost can be regained