The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass has been endorsed by the National Institutes of Health as an effective solution to permanent weight loss.
How does Gastric Bypass work?
Generally, a small pouch with a two-to-three ounce capacity – and sometimes less – is created across the stomach. This requires no removal of any of the stomach. Some variations performed involve creation of pouches so small that staples are not required.
A new hookup in the lower intestine establishes continuation of the entire digestive tract. Digestion occurs normally since digestive juices from the lower stomach and upper intestine (duodenum) continue to flow down the digestive tract and mix with food.
Gastric Bypass reduces the size of the stomach significantly, causing nerve endings to send signals to the brain that the stomach is full after eating as little as one tenth the amount of food previously consumed.
Unlike other weight loss methods, patients don’t suffer from hunger; in fact, caloric intake is generally about a moderate 1200 calorie. And unlike the earliest bariatric procedures, Gastric Bypass permits normal absorption of food, medicines and most vitamins. Some foods – such as candies and fruit juices containing refined sugar, as well as milk – are not well tolerated, and should be avoided or consumed in very small quantities.
Compliance with dietary guidelines after surgery has a significant impact on the outcome and success of obesity surgery. Following surgery, surgeons generally prescribe vitamins and nutritional supplements to help assure the patients take in the nutrients they need.
The procedure itself typically takes between 90 minutes and two hours. After a hospital stay of three to four days, patients can usually return to work in four to six weeks, depending on their job.