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What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

The Roux en-Y Gastric Bypass has long been considered the “gold standard” for obesity surgery and depending on your unique needs, the gastric bypass can be an excellent tool for gaining long-term control of weight. The bypass procedure accomplishes weight loss in two distinct ways.

First, through restriction, or limiting the volume of food intake, which creates a sense of satiety (fullness). In fact, during the first 6-12 months, patients rarely, if ever, feel the hunger sensation. And second, through modest malabsorption, which limits the body’s absorption or intake of nutrients and calories in the uppermost intestines.

Gastric Bypass Advantages

  • Almost always performed laparoscopically: Without large incisions, for faster healing and less pain.
  • Most restrictive weight loss procedure: Leading to greatest potential weight loss*.
  • Malabsorption: Surgery also generates weight loss by reducing absorption of calories and potentially creating a limited tolerance for dense carbohydrates
  • Excellent long-term results: Safe, reliable and effective.
  • Gold Standard: More than 60 years as a surgical weight loss option.
  • Is reversible, if necessary. (However, this is not a simple procedure.)

Ideal Gastric Bypass Candidates

This gastric bypass procedure may be particularly suited to persons with a BMI of 35+ with co-morbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint pain, fatigue and more who wish to have quick and enduring weight loss. The gastric bypass is for people who like to use the biggest tool in the toolbox and want to see profound and quick results. Most people are able to return to work in 2-3 weeks.

Procedure

At the Denver Center for Bariatric Surgery, we perform Gastric Bypass as a minimally-invasive (i.e. laparoscopic) procedure — very small incisions allow abdominal access with small instruments. This approach leads to reduced pain and scarring and faster recovery. On extremely rare occasions, a planned laparoscopic procedure will have to be converted to an “open” procedure for safety reasons. Both approaches have similar risks and complications and have excellent long-term success.

The bypass procedure works through two mechanisms: restriction & modest malabsorption.

Restriction

Restriction significantly limits the amount of food you can eat, and the restriction involves the creation of an approximately 2-ounce pouch at the very top of the old stomach. No portion of the stomach is removed, and the remainder of the stomach (the “remnant”) continues to produce gastric secretions that help with digestion of food… everything except food passing through it.

Malabsorption

Malabsorption reduces the amount of calories absorbed by the body. Reduced absorption is accomplished by re-routing and essentially “bypassing” a portion of the small intestine. The new stomach, or pouch, sends the small amounts of food consumed through the roux (bypassing) portion of small intestine. This food then mixes downstream with digestive enzymes at the lower connection and most of the digestion then starts.

Serving Sizes

Malabsorption reduces the amount of calories absorbed by the body. Reduced absorption is accomplished by re-routing and essentially “bypassing” a portion of the small intestine. The new stomach, or pouch, sends the small amounts of food consumed through the roux (bypassing) portion of small intestine. This food then mixes downstream with digestive enzymes at the lower connection and most of the digestion then starts

Weight Loss

Patients typically lose 75%+* of their excess weight, usually by the first anniversary post-surgery. Long-term success is dependent on accepting new rules for eating and food selection (that will be taught in the pre-operative and follow-up periods, with education before and after surgery). Don’t worry, we’ll help you get there… and stay there! Almost everyone reports that their newfound energy levels and activity interests will lead to increased planned exercise and a more active lifestyle.

*Individual results may vary

To learn more about gastric bypass, fill out our contact form or call us at (303) 280-0900.