Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass—Laparoscopic Surgery
(Bariatric Surgery; Weight-Reduction Surgery)
Pronounced: Roo-n-y gas-trick bye-pass
by Karen Kassel, MS, RD, MEd
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a surgery for obesity. It changes the stomach and small intestine to cause weight loss by:
Reasons for Procedure
The surgery treats severe obesity. Doctors use a calculation called body mass index ( BMI) to determine how overweight or obese you are. A normal BMI is 18.5-25.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a weight loss option for people with:
The success of gastric bypass surgery depends on your commitment to lifelong health habits. If lifestyle changes are made and maintained, the benefits of bariatric surgery include:
Possible Complications TOP
If you are planning to have Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
Each bariatric surgery program has specific requirements. Your program will likely include the following:
Leading up to your procedure:
General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep.
Description of Procedure
To prepare you for surgery, a nurse will place an IV line in your arm. You may receive fluids and medicines through this line during the procedure. The doctor will place a breathing tube through your mouth and into your throat. This will help you breathe during surgery. You will also have a catheter placed in your bladder to drain urine.
Your doctor will make several small cuts in the abdomen. Gas will be pumped in to inflate your abdomen. This will make it easier for the doctor to see. A laparoscope and surgical tools will be inserted through the incisions. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tool with a tiny camera. It sends images of your abdominal cavity to a monitor in the operating room. Your doctor will operate while viewing the area on this monitor.
Your doctor will use surgical staples to create a small pouch at the top of your stomach. This pouch, which can hold about one cup of food, will be your new, smaller stomach. A normal stomach can hold 4-6 cups of food.
Next, the doctor will cut the small intestine and attach it to the new pouch. With the intestinal bypass, food will now move from the new stomach pouch to the middle section of the small intestine. It will skip the lower stomach and the upper section of the small intestine.
Finally, the upper section of the small intestine will be attached to the middle section of the small intestine. This will allow fluid that the lower stomach makes to move down the upper section of the small intestine and into the middle section.
Once the bypass is completed, the incisions will be closed with staples or stitches.
Be aware that in some cases, the doctor may need to switch to an open surgery. During an open surgery, she will make a larger cut in the abdomen to do the surgery.
You will be taken to the recovery area for monitoring. You will also be given pain medicine.
How Long Will It Take?
About two hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery.
Patients experience pain and/or soreness at the incision sites during recovery. Your doctor can prescribe medicine to relieve the pain.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 2-5 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer, however, if complications arise.
At the Hospital
While you are recovering at the hospital, you may receive the following care:
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. You will need to practice lifelong healthy eating and exercising habits. Keep in mind after your surgery:
Your new stomach is the size of a small egg. It is slow to empty, causing you to feel full quickly. Therefore, you need to eat very small amounts and eat very slowly:
You may need to take medicines, as directed by your doctor, which may include:
Call Your Doctor TOP
After you leave the hospital, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
National Institutes of Health
Weight Control Information Network
BC Health Guide, British Columbia Ministry of Health
Canadian Laparoscopic Weight Loss Surgery
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6/24/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ : Pontiroli AE, Morabito A. Long-term prevention of mortality in morbid obesity through bariatric surgery. a systematic review and meta-analysis of trials performed with gastric banding and gastric bypass. Ann Surg. 2011;253(3):484-487.
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Last reviewed November 2012 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 11/30/2012