Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass—Open Surgery

(Bariatric Surgery; Weight-Reduction Surgery)

Definition

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a surgery for obesity . It changes the stomach and small intestine to cause weight loss by:
  • Restricting food intake—creates a small pouch to serve as the stomach, so you cannot eat as much
  • Making the body unable to absorb as many calories from the food—bypasses the first part of the small intestine, where many of the calories from food are usually absorbed

Reasons for Procedure

The surgery treats severe obesity. A calculation called body mass index ( BMI ) is used to determine how overweight or obese you are. A normal BMI is 18.5-25. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a weight loss option for people with:
  • BMI greater than 40
  • BMI 35-39.9 and a life-threatening condition or severe physical limitations that affect employment, movement, and family life
The success of gastric bypass surgery depends on your commitment to lifelong health habits. If lifestyle changes are made and maintained, the benefits of bariatric surgery include:
  • Long-term weight reduction
  • Improvement in many obesity-related conditions
  • Improved movement and stamina
  • Enhanced mood, self-esteem, and quality of life

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Hernia formation
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Breakdown of the staples, allowing leakage of stomach juices into the abdomen
  • Diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and vomiting
  • Dumping syndrome—This occurs after eating sweets, when food moves too quickly through the small intestine causing sweating, fatigue, lightheadedness, cramping, and diarrhea
  • Complications of general anesthesia
  • Death
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications, such as:

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