Following gastric bypass surgery, your stomach will be large enough to hold approximately 15 to 30 ml of food, which will restrict how much you can eat and make you feel full sooner. Additionally, food will pass directly from your stomach into the second part of your small intestine, bypassing the duodenum so that you absorb fewer calories from the foods you eat — resulting in weight loss.
Benefits associated with gastric bypass surgery
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery has long been considered the standard in bariatric surgery because it produces relatively fast weight-loss results. Patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery end up losing an average of 60 percent of their excess body weight within the first few years following surgery. Gastric bypass surgery can also help improve health conditions associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, infertility, arthritis, and more.
According to researchers at Cleveland Clinic, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery accounts for about 80 percent of all weight-loss surgeries performed in the United States, and about 47 percent of bariatric surgeries worldwide. A 2014 study published in JAMA Surgery found that patients who fall into the morbidly obese BMI range can lose an average of 14.8 points off their BMI after having gastric bypass surgery.
What to expect from gastric bypass surgery
Most bariatric surgeons perform gastric bypass surgery as a minimally invasive procedure. During surgery, your doctor will make a series of small incisions across your abdominal region. Then, a tiny camera is inserted into one of the incisions so your surgeon can view your abdomen and inner anatomy. Using a series of surgical instruments, your surgeon will staple your stomach to create a smaller stomach pouch. Next, your surgeon will reroute your small intestine so that it bypasses the portion of the intestine where calories are absorbed from the foods you eat. At the end of surgery, a series of tiny stitches will be made to close your incisions.
In most cases, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery takes between one and four hours to complete, followed by a recovery period in the hospital that lasts between one and seven days. When performed laparoscopically, gastric bypass surgery is associated with less downtime, faster recovery, and little pain. Most patients can resume normal activities within two to three weeks of undergoing surgery.
Because gastric bypass surgery is considered a malabsorptive type of weight-loss surgery, patients are at risk for nutritional deficiencies and should always take vitamins and supplements to ensure that they meet their recommended daily nutrient intake. your bariatric surgeon will work with you to help you determine the right levels of vitamins and supplements that you will need following surgery.