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Gastric Bypass

The gastric bypass is the ‘oldest’ type of surgery amongst all weight loss surgery procedures.

A gastric bypass involves creating an average of 15-20 ml pouch while also bypassing an estimate of 50-150 cm of the small intestine creating an intestinal bypass.

The first gastric bypass procedure was done by dr. Cesar Roux. That’s why it’s called the Roux-en-y gastric bypass (RYGB). With the ‘Y’ referring to the shape of the anastomosis.




Characteristics of the gastric bypass

  • Laparascopic procedure with usually 5-6 incisions (varies across surgical centers)
  • Takes about 1.5-2 hours to complete
  • Involves both reducing the size of the stomach and rerouting the small intestine
  • You have to take vitamins every day, for the rest of your life
  • You have to change your lifestyle and eating habits to make your bypass work for you

How long do I have to stay in the hospital?

Recovery depends on your surgery itself. How big are the incisions? Did you have laparoscopic or an open type of surgery? If you had laparoscopic surgery you’ll proably have to stay in the hospital for 1-3 days. Some clinics have outpatient centers where you’ll go home on the same day.

Is gastric bypass surgery painful?

Surgery itself is done under full anesthetics. Pain is a subjective feeling that everyone experience differently. Gas pains tend to be painful. You’ll  be advised to walk at least 3 times a day to minimize gas pains. It’s common to take pain medication after surgery.

Can I eat and drink everything after a gastric bypass?

Generally you will slowly introduce new foods and textures through 5 stages during 5 weeks.

  • Stage 1: clear liquids
  • Stage 2: full liquids
  • Stage 3: soft-pureed foods
  • Stage 4: soft foods
  • Stage 5: slowly introducing ‘normal’ foods

Keep in mind that everyone will experience this differently. It may take longer to get to stage 5 depending on how you feel – and if any complications occur.

How much weight will I lose?

The average loss of excess weight is around 70% following a gastric bypass. Keep in mind that this may be more or less depending on each and every  situation. Your lifestyle and eating habits are going to have an impact on how much weight you will lose. And eventually keep it off in the long run. 

Benefits of the gastric bypass

  • May lead to more excess weight loss over the course of the first few years
  • May reduce appetite due to changes in gut hormones
  • More studies available compared to the gastric sleeve

Disadvantages of the Gastric Bypass

  • Increased risk of dumping syndrome
  • Increased risk of digestive issues
  • Increased risk of malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies
  • Increased risk of bowel obstruction

    Always follow your doctors guidelines and recommendations

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