Gastric Bypass Operation

Gastric Bypass Operation
Gastric Bypass Operation

What is Gastric Bypass operation?
It is an surgical operation that will change you digestive system, limiting the amount of food intake. Many surgeons prefer gastric bypass surgery because of the few complications and risks. Its an operation that will alter your eating habits as well affect your weight.

Who Usually Gets Gastric Bypass Surgery?

People who undergo gastric bypass surgery are at risk for:
  • Pouch stretching (stomach gets bigger overtime, stretching back to its original size).
  • Band erosion (the band closing off part of the stomach disintegrates).
  • Breakdown of staple lines (band and staples fall apart, reversing the procedure).
  • Leakage of stomach contents into the abdomen (this is dangerous because the acid can eat away other organs).
  • Nutritional deficiencies causing health problems.

How is Gastric Bypass performed?
Anesthesia is used during gastric bypass surgery. This pro General anesthesia is used for gastric bypass surgery. This means you're unconscious during the surgery. There is an Roux-en-Y procedure in which the surgeon will staple the top of your stomach in which it will seal it. The resulting size of the stomach is small in diameter and will hold an ounce of food. This small section is separated from the rest of the stomach. Afterwards, the surgeon will sew the new section to the small intestine.

There are two ways to perform gastric bypass surgery. The first involves open surgery, which involves making a surgical cut that open the belly and gives the surgeon access to organs such as the stomach and small intestine. The second way, Laparoscopy, involves the use of a laparoscope (small camera), which is placed in the belly. During this surgery, 4 to 6 small cuts are made in the belly. The small camera is then passed through one of the cuts and the surgeon uses a monitor to look at the inside of the belly. The surgery is then performed with the use of thin surgical instruments, which are inserted through the other cuts.

There are several benefits of the second option, Laparoscopy. These include a shorter hospital stay, less pain, and smaller scars.


Health Risks - There is a list of risks and potential complications that is associated with the Gastric Bypass Operation. These health risks include infection, bleeding, and reactions to the anesthesia. Also, complications include:
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiency
  • Dehydration
  • Gallstones
  • Bleeding stomach ulcer
  • Hernia at the incision site
  • Intolerance to certain foods
  • Kidney stones
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pouch problems
  • Hernias
  • Kidney Stones

In addition, there are severe risks that include death. The older the patient is, he or she is less likely to survive the operation. It is also very important that the health history such as key medical conditions are aware to the surgeon. There is also the possiblity that leaking at one of the staple lines in the stomach. Pneumonia is a concern becuase of the excessive weightloss and extra demand on the lungs. The opening between the small intestine and the stomach sometimes narrow after the procedure. One of the worst physical risks is the Dumping syndrome. This a condition in which contents in the stomach move rapidly through the small intestine, causing vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and sweating.

Types of Gastric Bypass Surgery

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RGB): This operation is the most common gastric bypass surgery performed in the U.S. First, a small stomach pouch is created by stapling part of the stomach together or by vertical banding. This limits how much food you can eat. Next, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the duodenum as well as the first portion of the jejunum. This causes reduced calorie and nutrient absorption. This procedure can now be done with a laparoscope (a thin telescope-like instrument for viewing inside the abdomen) in some people. This involves using small incisions and generally has a more rapid recovery time.

  • Extensive gastric bypass (biliopancreatic diversion): In this more complicated gastric bypass operation, the lower portion of the stomach is removed. The small pouch that remains is connected directly to the final segment of the small intestine, thus completely bypassing both the duodenum and jejunum. Although this procedure successfully promotes weight loss, it is not as widely used. because of the high risk for nutritional deficiencies.

Post Surgery Expectations

After surgery is performed, patients can expect a variety of symptoms. The most common symptoms include tenderness and soreness in the area where the incision was made. Some patients may need pain medication to alleviate the pain during the first couple of weeks. Since gastric bypass surgery makes the stomach smaller, patients can expect to feel "fuller" when they eat.
It is important to follow your doctor's instruction when it comes to eating. At first the patient should only eat small amounts of SOFT food and liquid. It is also recommended to drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration.
After surgery the patient should also expect:
  • Dumping syndrome, which occurs when food is dropped into the small intestine too quickly. May result in diarrhea, as well as in feelings of shakiness, faintness, and nausea.
  • Deficiency in calcium, iron, magnesium, and/or vitamins.
  • Possibly seeing a dietitian to help plan meals.
  • Avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous exercise.


  • Gastic bypass surgery is NOT cosmetic surgery, meaning the fatty tissue is not removed.
  • Compared to people who do not have weight-loss surgeries, people who have them are less likely to die from cancer, diabetes, or heart problems.
  • After surgery, the food you eat will not go into some parts of the stomach and small intestine. As a result the body will not absorb all of the food's calories.

Video of Gastric Bypass Operation: