Gastric bypass surgery is a common type of weight-loss surgery that can help people who are severely obese and have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40. During the procedure, the upper part of the stomach is turned into a small gastric pouch, and a hole is cut in the small intestine. One end of the hole is then connected to the gastric pouch. As with any major surgery, gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries come with potential health risks, both in the short and long term.
However, it is usually only done after other methods of weight loss, such as diet and exercise, have been attempted. The type of gastric bypass surgery performed depends on factors such as body mass index, body shape, and previous surgeries. Open or laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery may be recommended. Gastric bypass can also improve a person's ability to perform routine daily activities, which could help improve their quality of life. During the procedure, changes are made to the stomach and small intestine to alter how food is absorbed and digested. The Roux-en-Y technique is used for laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery.
This means that hospital stays are shorter, recovery time is quicker, and there is less pain and scarring for the patient. After a gastric bypass, food enters a small stomach pouch and then directly into the small intestine, avoiding most of the stomach and the first section of the small intestine. The intestine is then divided and connected to the small pouch of the stomach, bypassing the lower part of the stomach. In most cases, people who undergo gastric bypass will start on a liquid diet before transitioning to pureed food and then a regular diet after six weeks. Gastric bypass can be an effective way to lose weight quickly and improve overall health.