Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is an operation that is done to help treat 'severe' obesity. Its goal is to help you lose weight by limiting the stomach 's ability to store large amounts of food. However, it's important to understand that undergoing this surgery does not mean that you will no longer have to think about food choices or significant lifestyle changes.

Remember, obesity is the result of an interaction between biology and behavior.

Patients who have this serious surgery must be prepared to make significant changes in eating and lifestyle patterns - changes that will last a lifetime. Bypass surgery provides the extra help most people with extreme obesity need. The surgery gives your body a new way of digesting food, which becomes part of a comprehensive health plan that includes other components such as regular exercise, healthy food choices, and close, ongoing contact with members of your health care team.

It does this by changing the way food passes through the stomach and intestines.

Gastric Bypass Surgery is a specific type of surgery designed to treat people who are so overweight that they are suffering health consequences of the excess weight.

The operations employed for morbid obesity are not to be confused with plastic surgery - weight loss surgery involves substantial and permanent changes in the patient's stomach and other gastrointestinal physiology. Real risk comes with each surgical procedure, and surgery is only offered to those whose weight is high enough that the medical risk of continued obesity outweighs the risk of surgery.

Prospective patients should also be thoroughly convinced that they have exhausted all other reasonable avenues of weight loss before selecting surgery.

(RNY) Gastric Bypass

The Roux-en-Y is considered 'the Gold Standard' for Gastric Bypass surgery.

During this operation, the surgeon separates the stomach with a special stapling device into two sections. This creates a small working section on top, called a pouch, connected to the esophagus . This pouch will become the new stomach and is constructed to contain only 1 ounce of food(picture a hard-boiled egg).

The rest of the stomach, the larger 'left over' bottom section, is completely disconnected from the pouch and remains where it normally is but no nutrient sever enter it.It is alive and healthy and still secretes acids and other gastric juices, which flow into the intestines to aid in digestion and it makes intrinsic factor, necessary to absorb Vitamin B12 .It also contributes to hormone balance and motility of the intestines in ways that are not entirely known. In some cases it may shrink a bit and its lining (the mucosa ) may contract, but for the most part it remains unchanged.

The new pouch is then stapled to a segment of the intestine so that the food travels from the mouth, down the esophagus through the pouch directly into the intestine, bypassing the majority of the 'left over' bottom section. Inside this new connection between the pouch and the intestine, a small 'hole' or 'tunnel' is created for the food to pass through.This 'hole' is called a stomaand is deliberately made very small in diameter (picture a drinking straw) to slow down the movement of food from the pouch out into the intestine.

The staples used on the stomach and the intestines are very tiny in comparison to the staples you normally use in the office. Each staple is a tiny piece of stainless steel or titanium so small it is hard to see other than as a tiny bright spot. Because the metals used (titanium or stainless steel) are inert in the body, most people are not allergic to staples and they usually do not cause any problems in the long run. The staple materials are also non-magnetic, which means that they will not be affected by MRI nor will they set off airport metal detectors .

The RNY gastric bypass surgery is a very successful operation for weight control and tens of thousands are performed yearly in the U.S.A. Patients eat smaller amounts of food, feel fuller sooner, have less of an appetite and, with the laparoscopic approach, suffer less pain and run a lower risk of developing hernias .

How Weight Loss is Achieved with the RNY

The operation produces a number of changes in how your body digests food . These changes, in combination with an overall plan of diet and exercise, can help you lose a significant amount of weight in several ways:

  • You now have a smaller stomach - The small "pouch " created during the operation is your new stomach. It can only hold about 3 ounces of food or liquid at a time. (Normally, the stomach can hold up to 50 ounces.) A much smaller stomach means it takes a much smaller amount of food to make you feel full .
  • Slower digestion - Because of the small opening connecting the pouch to the intestines(the stoma ), food moves through the system very slowly after it is eaten, making you feel full longer.
  • Hormone changes - Your body makes hormones that contribute to your feeling full after a meal. The changes in the way food enters the intestines after surgery affects these hormones, which may also help you feel full for a longer period. Hormone changes are also responsible for the "dumping syndrome " - a side effect of surgery that is explained below, but that can also contribute to rapid weight loss in the months following surgery.

Gastric ByPass Surgery




LAP-BAND (Prosthesis)



Other related surgeries

Surgery for excess abdominal skin

of the
Surgical Program





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