An IV line will be placed in your arm. Fluids and medication will be delivered through this line during the procedure. A breathing tube will be placed through your mouth and into your throat. It will help you breathe during surgery.
Small incisions will be made in the abdominal wall. A camera and surgical instruments will be passed through these incisions. The stomach will be divided into 2 parts. One part will be reconstructed to resemble a tube. The first part of the small intestine will then be bypassed by connecting the stomach tube to a section of the small intestine further down than previous attachment point.
The small incisions will be closed. Bandages may be placed over the incision sites.
Immediately After Procedure
After the operation, you will be taken to the recovery room for observation.
How Long Will it Take?
About 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours
How Much Will it Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. As you recover, you may have some pain. You will be given pain medication.
Eating too much will cause discomfort. Work with a dietitian to create a meal plan that will provide enough nutrition without causing discomfort.
Average Hospital Stay
This is done in a hospital. The usual length of stay is 2 days. If you have any problems, you may need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
While you are recovering at the hospital, you may receive the following care:
Pain medication will be given as needed.
On the day after surgery—you will have
to check for leaks from the stomach.
Your stomach will not only be smaller, but will also be swollen after surgery. This will limit the types and amount of food you can eat. You will be started on liquids only. Medications or vitamins may also need to be crushed up or taken as liquid.
While in the hospital, you may be asked to do the following:
Use an incentive spirometer to help you take deep breaths. This helps prevent lung problems.
Wear elastic surgical stockings or boots to promote blood flow in your legs.
Get up and walk in the hall daily.
For best success, you will need to practice lifelong healthy eating and exercising habits. Walk as soon as possible. Make a goal to exercise daily.
You will meet regularly with your healthcare team for monitoring and support.
You may have emotional ups and downs after this surgery. Ask your doctor about support groups or counseling that may help.
Your new stomach is small and slow to empty, causing you to feel full quickly. Therefore, you need to eat very small amounts and eat every slowly. Some basic steps may include:
You will begin with 4-6 meals per day. A meal is 2 ounces of food. For the first 4-6 weeks after surgery, all food must be pureed.
After you move to solid foods, you will need to consume enough protein. Follow your dietitian’s meal plans.
Avoid sweets and fatty foods.
Eating too much or too quickly can cause vomiting or intense pain under your breastbone. Most people quickly learn how much food they can eat.
If you are taking medications or supplements:
Crush any non-chewable pills
Opt for chewable pills or liquid when possible
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting
Worsening abdominal pain
Blood in the stool
Pain, burning, urgency or frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
Pain or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
Sudden shortness of breath or chest pain
New or unexpected symptoms
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
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 January 10, 2018.
Maciejewski ML, Livingston EH, Smith VA, et al. Survival among high-risk patients after bariatric surgery. JAMA. 2011;305(23):2419-2426.
Obesity surgery: Weight loss surgery. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17285-obesity-surgery/weight-loss-surgery. Accessed January 15, 2013.
Weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery). Boston Medical Center website. Available at: https://www.bmc.org/weight-loss-surgery/options. Accessed January 10, 2018.
Your bariatric surgery experience. Allegheny Health Network website. Available at: https://www.ahn.org/specialties/bariatric-and-metabolic-institute/your-bariatric-surgery-experience. Accessed January 10, 2018.
Last reviewed November 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
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