Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery uses a combination of restriction and malabsorption. During the procedure, the surgeon creates a smaller stomach pouch. The surgeon then attaches a Y-shaped section of the small intestine directly to the pouch. This allows food to bypass a large portion of the small intestine, which absorbs calories and nutrients. Having the smaller stomach pouch causes patients to feel fuller sooner and eat less food; bypassing a portion of the small intestine means the patient’s body absorbs fewer calories.
Life After Gastric Bypass
Excess Weight Loss
Gastric bypass patients typically lost 61.6 percent of their excess weight.
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
One meta-analysis stated that for bariatric surgery patients who experienced significant weight loss:
- Overall quality of life improved greatly.
- They experienced improved physical functioning and appearance.
- They experienced improved social and economic opportunities.
One study found that gastric bypass patients were able to:
- Leave the hospital after two days
- Return to work after 21 days
Potential Concerns of Gastric Bypass
- A condition known as dumping syndrome can occur from eating high-fat, high-sugar foods. While it isn’t considered a health risk, the results can be very unpleasant and may include vomiting, nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, and diarrhea.
- Patients must supplement their diet with a daily multivitamin and calcium. Some patients must take vitamin B12 and/or iron.
- 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.