The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is the most common weight loss surgery performed in the United States. In this procedure, staples are used to divide the stomach, creating a small pouch which is then connected to the jejunum (small intestine). This allows food to bypass a portion of the intestine, reducing the amount of calories and nutrition absorbed from the food you eat. This is called a restrictive and malabsorptive procedure.
- More rapid weight loss than with lap band surgery
- The average patient can lose about 75% of their excess weight in the first year after surgery
- Sustained weight loss
- Many patients see improvement or resolution of certain health conditions associated with obesity, including hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, and back pain.
In addition to risks of any surgery, patients choosing gastric bypass surgery are at risk for:
- Dumping Syndrome -- caused when stomach contents move rapidly through the intestine and can occur in up to 30% of patients. This sometimes is caused when too much sugar or large amounts of food are consumed. While usually not considered a serious health risk, it can be extremely unpleasant and can include nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness and, on occasion, diarrhea after eating.
- Bypassing part of the small intestine creates an increased risk of nutritional deficiencies.
- Increased risk of anemia due to the decreased absorption of iron and Vitamin B.
- Decreased absorption of calcium can result in a higher risk for osteoporosis
- The bypassed portion of the stomach and small intestine cannot be easily examined using x-ray or endoscopy if problems should occur.