For decades, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery was once the gold standard for weight loss surgery. The gastric bypass was outpaced by the Lap Band around 2010. Currently the gastric sleeve holds the #1 spot!
Gastric Bypass Details
In a bypass, stapling creates a small (15 to 20cc) stomach pouch. The rest of the stomach is not removed but is completely stapled shut and divided from the stomach pouch. The outlet from this new pouch empties right into the lower portion of the small intestine, thus bypassing calorie absorption. This is done by dividing the small intestine just past the duodenum for the purpose of bringing it up and making a connection with the new pouch. The other end is connected into the side of the intestine creating the “Y” shape that gives it its name. The length of either segment of the intestine can be changed to produce lower or higher levels of malabsorption. By adding malabsorption, food is delayed in mixing with bile and pancreatic juices that aid in the absorption of nutrients. The result is an early sense of fullness, combined with a sense of satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat. Many studies show that diabetes goes away in up to 80% of patients after surgery!
Advantages of Gastric Bypass:
- The average excess weight loss after gastric bypass can be higher than with purely restrictive procedures like a Lap Band or gastric sleeve.
- One year after gastric bypass surgery, weight loss can average 77% of excess body weight.
- Studies show that after 10 to 14 years, 50-60% of excess body weight loss has been maintained by many patients.
- A 2000 study of 500 patients showed that 96% of certain associated health conditions studied (back pain, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression) were improved or resolved after gastric bypass surgery!
Risks of Gastric Bypass:
- Because some of the small intestine is bypassed, absorption of iron and calcium is reduced. This can result in the lowering of total body iron and iron deficiency anemia. This can be a concern for patients who have issues with chronic blood loss such as excessive menstrual flow or bleeding hemorrhoids. Women, already at risk for osteoporosis that can occur after menopause, should also be aware of the potential for bone calcium loss.
- Bypassing the duodenum during a gastric bypass has caused metabolic bone disease in some patients, resulting in bone pain, loss of height, humped back and fractures of the ribs and hip bones. All of the deficiencies mentioned above, however, can usually be managed through proper diet and vitamin supplements.
- A chronic anemia due to Vitamin B12 deficiency could occur. The problem can usually be managed with Vitamin B12 pills or injections.
- A condition known as “dumping syndrome ” after gastric bypass can occur as the result of rapid emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine. This is sometimes triggered when too much sugar or large amounts of food are consumed. While generally not considered to be a serious risk to your health, the results can be extremely unpleasant and can include nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness and, on occasion, diarrhea after eating. Some patients are unable to eat any form of sweets after surgery.
- In some cases, the effectiveness of the procedure may be reduced if the stomach pouch is stretched and/or if it is initially left larger than 15-30cc.
- The bypassed portion of the stomach, duodenum and segments of the small intestine cannot be easily visualized using X-ray or endoscopy if problems such as ulcers, bleeding or malignancy should occur.
JourneyLite offers gastric bypass not only as a primary procedure, but also as a revisional option for gastric sleeve or Lap Band patients. This can be useful in patients who have either seen weight regain or have failed to reach their goal weight.
JourneyLite has offices in:
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Crestview Hills, Kentucky
- Dayton, Ohio
- Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
Our MBSAQIP-accredited surgery center is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, where we treat patients from all over Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. If you need help losing weight and keeping it off, request a consultation today!