Gastric bypass surgery is performed to help morbidly obese patients lose significant amounts of weight—without gaining it back. It is considered the "golden standard" for obesity surgery, with a success rate of over 80%. Most patients lose at least half of their excess weight and keep it off for more than five years.
The surgeon uses suture-like staples to create a pouch in the top of the stomach. The pouch is then connected directly to a section of the small intestine called the Roux limb. The smaller stomach pouch restricts the amount of food that can be digested at any time and limits the body's ability to absorb fat from food by bypassing the majority of the stomach and some of the large intestine. This combination of restrictive and malabsorptive techniques makes the Roux-en-Y procedure one of the most successful gastric bypass surgeries.
Gastric bypass surgery may take several hours to complete, and hospital recovery lasts 4-5 days. Patients who qualify for minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery have smaller incision scars, lower risk of hernias, less post-operative discomfort and a shorter recovery time.
After surgery, the stomach can hold about a tablespoon of food. This will expand over time but will not exceed one cup. A normal stomach holds one quart. Because the stomach size is substantially reduced, patients are limited in the amount of food they can eat in a single meal. They also don't suffer from constant hunger. Smaller meals eaten throughout the day are recommended.
One risk of gastric bypass surgery is vitamin and mineral deficiency and anemia. Regular meetings with your surgeon and a dietitian will be scheduled before and after surgery to establish a diet and exercise plan to determine whether nutritional supplements are necessary.
Patients who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery must be willing to make life changes to achieve and maintain weight loss and prevent complications from the surgery. With determination, good nutrition and regular exercise, the results can be dramatic. Most patients lose about 1-2 pounds per week and reach a stable weight 18 to 24 months after surgery. Weight loss is typically most dramatic in the weeks immediately after surgery. Patients often enjoy immediate relief from weight-related illnesses such as sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heartburn and incontinence.
Lap-Band® stands for laparoscopic gastric banding, a minimally invasive procedure in which a hollow doughnut-shaped tube is placed around the upper part of the stomach and filled with saline (salt water). The Lap-Band works in two ways: it reduces the size of the stomach so it holds less food, and it limits the amount of food that can enter the stomach. This means you feel full faster, so you eat less-and lose weight.
The Lap-Band System is the only weight loss surgery approved by the FDA. It is also the only adjustable and reversible procedure for long-term weight-loss available in the U.S. Lap-Banding is generally considered to be the safest, least invasive, and least traumatic of all weight loss surgeries.