Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is surgery to decrease the structure and size of the stomach and attach it to a small part of the intestine.
This surgery is done to treat severe obesity when other methods have not helped. It makes the size of the stomach smaller to cause weight loss by:
In addition to helping a person lose weight, this surgery may also:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
The bariatric surgery team will meet with you to talk about:
You will be given general anesthesia. You will be asleep.
Several small incisions will be made in your abdomen. Gas will be pumped in to inflate your abdomen and make it easier to view the stomach. A thin, lighted tool with a tiny camera will be inserted through an incision. A monitor will be used to view the images. Other tools will be inserted into other incisions.
Surgical staples will be used to create a small pouch at the top of the stomach. The small pouch can hold only 1 cup of soft, moist, and well-chewed food. A normal stomach can hold 4 to 6 cups. Next, the small intestine will be cut and attached to the new pouch. 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 intestine. Lastly, the upper section 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 intestine. The incisions will be closed with stitches or staples. A bandage will be placed over the area.
In some people, the doctor may need to switch to open surgery.
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About 2 hours
Pain and swelling are common in the first 1 to 2 weeks. Medicine and home care can help.
You will be in the hospital for 2 to 5 days. If you have any problems, you may need to stay longer.
After the procedure, the staff may:
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection, such as:
It will take a few weeks for the incisions and muscles to fully heal. Physical activity will be limited during this time. You will need to ask for help at home and delay your return to work.
Dietary changes, regular exercise, and counseling will need to be part of your recovery and lifelong weight loss plan.
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/nutritional-disorders/obesity-and-the-metabolic-syndrome/bariatric-surgery. Accessed September 28, 2021.
Bariatric surgery in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/bariatric-surgery-in-adults. Accessed September 28, 2021.
Gastrict bypass surgery. Columbia University Medical Center website. Available at: http://columbiasurgery.org/conditions-and-treatments/gastric-bypass-surgery. Accessed September 28, 2021.
Obesity surgery. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17285-obesity-surgery/roux-en-y-gastric-bypass. Accessed September 28, 2021.
Risks of gastric bypass surgery: anastomotic leaking. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/risks-of-gastric-bypass-surgery-anastomotic-leaking. Accessed September 28, 2021.
Weight-loss (bariatric) surgery. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/bariatric-surgery. Accessed September 28, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD Last Updated: 9/28/2021