The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass – often just called gastric bypass – is considered the ‘gold standard’ of weight loss surgery and is the most commonly performed bariatric procedure worldwide.
This procedure looks complicated in the pictures but is really very simple. The most important step is that the stomach is simply divided in two. But not into two equal halves; the stomach is divided into a small upper stomach about the size of a small lemon (to restrict food intake), leaving the main larger part of the stomach completely untouched.
Then, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the small upper stomach to allow food to bypass the larger storage capacity of the stomach such that the food get plumbed in downstream. Food bypasses the main stomach, the duodenum, and the upper small intestine which is the part of the bowel where many fats and sugars are normally absorbed, This reduces the absorption of nutrients and thereby reduces the calorie intake
Performed using minimal-access techniques such as mini-lap surgery or laparoscopic surgery
Most patients stay in the hospital for only three days (in on Wed/ out on Sat, or in on Thu/out on Sun)
Many weight related medical problems can be cured or significantly approved
Excess weight loss of 70-80% *
Diabetes resolution rate of 50%-70%*
Improvement in quality of life
No part of the stomach is moved or removed
*disclaimer: results vary from person to person
Surgical complications commensurate with moderate abdominal surgery
Need to take multivitamins, iron and calcium
The reference for 4th bullet point in advantages is:
Adams TD, Davidson LE, Litwin SE, et al. Health benefits of gastric bypass surgery after 6 years. JAMA 2012; 308:1122-1131
Reference for 5th bullet point in advantages is:
Buchwald H et al. Weight and type 2 diabetes after bariatric surgery: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med 2009; 122: 248 - 256.