Jamal weight loss patient

Gastric Bypass

  • Gastric bypass is the most commonly performed weight loss surgery option.
  • The experts at Roper St. Francis offer three types of weight loss procedures: gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy.
  • Discover if gastric bypass is the right treatment for you and what you can expect after surgery.

What is a Gastric bypass?

Bariatric surgery is the clinical term for weight loss surgery. Roper St. Francis offers three different procedures, gastric bypass surgery, adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. The following information will help you learn about and compare the different procedures to determine which option may be right for you.

 stomach diagram
Gastric Bypass

(Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass)

Gastric bypass is the most commonly performed bariatric surgery option. During the procedure, the surgeon creates a smaller stomach pouch which restricts the amount of food that can be consumed (restriction). The surgeon then attaches one end of a Y-shaped section of the small intestine directly to the pouch. This allows food to bypass the remainder stomach and a portion of the small intestine, where the majority of the calories and some nutrients are absorbed (malabsorption). Having the smaller stomach pouch causes patients to feel fuller sooner and eat less food.

How is the Gastric Bypass done?
Gastric bypass surgery usually takes two to three hours to perform through small incisions. Patients typically stay in the hospital for three days following the surgery for observation during their recovery. If you live more than 90 minutes from the office, you will be required to stay in the area for a 14-day period (unless otherwise directed by your surgeon). Learn about accommodations in the Charleston area. ​

What to Expect After Gastric Bypass

Excess Weight Loss
Initially, gastric bypass patients lose at least 70-75% of their excess body weight, and in some studies these patients are able to keep greater than 61.6% of the excess body weight off for up to 20 years.

Health Benefits
Studies found that gastric bypass:

  • Resolved type 2 diabetes in 83.8% of patients and often resolved the disease within days of surgery
  • Resolved high blood pressure in 75.4% of patients
  • Improved high cholesterol in 95% of patients

Quality of Life 
Many bariatric surgery patients who have significant weight loss experience:

  • Improved overall quality of life 
  • Improved physical functioning and appearance
  • Improved social and economic opportunities

Gastric Bypass Recovery
The Bariatric Surgery & Medical Weight Loss team will advise you on when to resume normal activities and when to return to work. You are encouraged to take four weeks away from work. You will need this time to focus on a new way to eat and get accustomed to a new way of life.

Potential Concerns and Side Effects of Gastric Bypass
As with any major medical procedure there are concerns to consider including:

  • A condition known as dumping syndrome can occur from eating high-fat, high-sugar foods. While this isn’t considered a health risk, the results can be unpleasant and may include vomiting, nausea, rapid heart rate, weakness, sweating, faintness and diarrhea.
  • Patients must supplement their diet with bariatric supplements for the rest of their life. Some patients must take supplemental vitamin B-12 and/or iron pending the results of follow-up lab tests.
  • The stomach, duodenum and parts of the small intestine cannot be seen easily using X-ray or endoscopy if there are problems after surgery such as ulcers, bleeding or malignancy, but this is rare.
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