Gastric Bypass

Gastric Bypass

Also known as the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The Gastric bypass surgery aims to surgically reroute the digestive tract so that food actually bypasses the stomach. In this type of surgery, you lose weight by changing how your stomach and small intestine handle the food you eat. After the surgery, your stomach will be smaller. You will start feeling full even with less food. The food that you eat will no longer go into some parts of your stomach and the small intestine that break down food. Because of this, your body will not absorb all of the calories from the food you eat.

What to Expect?

In this surgery, you will be administered general anaesthesia. There are two steps that are during gastric bypass surgery:

  • The first step makes your stomach smaller. Your surgeon will use staples to divide your stomach into a small upper section and a larger bottom section. The top section of your stomach which is called the pouch is where the food you eat will go. The pouch is just about the size of a walnut. It will hold only about 1 ounce of food.

  • The second step is the bypass. In this step, your surgeon will connect a small part of your small intestine to a small hole in your pouch. The food you eat will now travel from the pouch into this new opening right into your small intestine. Because of this, your body will absorb fewer calories.

Open Surgery and Laparoscopy

The Gastric bypass surgery can be done in two ways. With open surgery, your surgeon will make a large incision to open up your belly while in laparoscopy, four to six small cuts are made on your stomach to use a small camera and create a bypass inside.

Advantages of laparoscopy over open surgery include:

  • Shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery.

  • Less pain.

  • Smaller scars and a lower risk of getting a hernia or infection.

  • This surgery takes about 2 to 4 hours.


Just as every surgery, even Gastric bypass comes with some risks. Here are some risks that are associated with this type of surgery:

  • Allergic reactions to medicines

  • Blood clots in the legs that may travel to your lungs

  • Blood loss

  • Breathing problems

  • Heart attack or stroke during or after surgery

  • Infection, including in the cut, lungs (pneumonia), bladder, or kidney

Make sure you discuss about all the risks involved in detail with your surgeon.

Before the Procedure

Here are some things you may be required to do before surgery.

  • Your surgeon will ask you to have tests and visits with other health care providers before you have this surgery.

  • If you are a smoker, you must stop smoking several weeks before surgery and not start smoking again after surgery. Smoking tends to slow the recovery process and also increases the risks of problems. Make sure that you inform your doctor about the same.

Always tell your doctor:

  • If you are or might be pregnant

  • What drugs, vitamins, herbs, and other supplements you are taking, even ones you bought without a prescription

During the week before your surgery:

  • You may be asked to stop taking drugs that contain aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, warfarin and any other drugs that make it hard for your blood to clot.

  • Ask your doctor the drugs that you should still take on the day of your surgery.

  • Prepare your home for after the surgery

After the Procedure

Post-procedure, here is what you can expect:

  • You may be asked to sit on the side of the bed and walk a little the same day you had surgery

  • May have a (tube) catheter that goes through your nose into your stomach for 1 or 2 days. This tube helps drain fluids from your belly.

  • May have a catheter in your bladder to remove urine

  • You may not be able to eat for the first 1 to 3 days. After that you can have liquids, and then pureed or soft foods.

  • May have a catheter connected to the larger part of your stomach that was bypassed. It will come out of your side and will drain fluids.

  • You may have to wear special stockings on your legs to help prevent blood clots from forming.

  • You may receive medicine through shots to prevent blood clots

  • You may receive pain medicine. You will take pills for pain or receive pain medicine through an IV, a catheter that goes into your veins.

You will be able to go home when you:

  • Can eat liquid or pureed food without vomiting

  • Can move around without a lot of pain

  • Do not need pain medicine through an IV or given by shot

Please note that each and every case is different and the above may be modified by your doctor depending on individual case.

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