Gastric Bypass Surgery: How it Works

Gastric bypass surgery  (also known as Roux-en-Y) is performed by making several tiny incisions in the abdomen. Small instruments – including a laparoscopic camera – are inserted through these tiny incisions into the abdomen.

The Gastric Bypass Procedure

The gastric bypass is designed to restrict the amount of food one can eat and to bypass a portion of the small bowel, thus allowing less food to be absorbed. Your surgeon will use special staples to create a small upper-stomach pouch that restricts food intake to about one ounce.

This “new” stomach is known as the “pouch.” The small intestine is then transected past the duodenum, and brought up to the pouch so that food bypasses the lower stomach and a portion of the small bowel. Once surgery is completed, the surgical instruments are removed and all incisions are closed.

Gastric bypass surgery is designed to restrict food intake and  change the body’s normal digestion and absorption processes. It is a restrictive and malabsorptive procedure, meaning that the small pouch restricts the amount of food you can eat, while the change that occurs in the small intestines also limits absorption of calories and nutrients.

Because the new stomach pouch restricts how much you can eat, the feeling of satiety, fullness, is easily obtained. Food passes from the esophagus into the new, small pouch and then moves into the portion of the small intestine that was brought up and connected to the pouch, thus bypassing most of the “old” (or distal) stomach and the duodenum.

Because the gastric bypass is a malabsorptive procedure, follow-up with your surgeon is vitally important to achieve desired weight loss and to maintain appropriate levels of micro-nutrients.

Advantages of gastric bypass surgery include:

• rapid weight loss (typical weight loss of 5 pounds per week);
• reduction or resolution of serious co-morbidities such as type 2 diabetes;
• reduced desire to eat;
• “dumping syndrome” (negative response to sugar intake);
• easy follow-up schedule with your surgeon;
• procedure is done laparoscopically;
• proven, long-term success;
• typical recovery period of 10 to 14 days.

Click here to watch our animated video on gastric bypass surgery.

To make an appointment for gastric bypass consultation with an experienced Houston bariatric surgeon, call The Davis Clinic at (713) 464-6000