How Does Gastric Bypass Work?

Commonly known as “gastric bypass,” Roux en Y Gastric Bypass is a surgical procedure for the treatment of obesity that creates a small pouch, decreasing the amount you need to eat to feel full.

Commonly known as “gastric bypass,” the RYGB is a surgical procedure that creates a small pouch (decreasing the amount you need to eat to feel “full”) and also decreases slightly the intestine’s ability to absorb calories. Typically, this is accomplished using a minimally invasive (laparoscopic) approach.

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How does the Roux en Y Gastric Bypass work?
The stomach is partitioned into a small “pouch” surgically, producing the sense of fullness after slight solid or liquid intake. This pouch is surgically connected to the intestine slightly downstream from the beginning, thus “bypassing” part of the small intestine. This “rerouting” decreases calorie absorption and aids in weight loss.

The new physical arrangement allows for gastric contents to enter the small intestine directly without delay. If the patient eats too fast, too much at once, or concentrated sweets, he or she may experience symptoms known as “dumping.” This is characterized by abdominal cramps, nausea, sweating, flushing, followed by diarrhea. Though unpleasant, dumping does tend to reinforce good eating behaviors.

What happens after surgery?
For approximately six to eight months afterwards, the patient will progress slowly through a carefully designed diet of liquids and soft foods, to maximize protein and nutrient intake and minimize discomfort.

Lifetime vitamin intake is mandatory after any malabsorptive surgery.

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Review Date: April 09, 2012
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