When comparing surgical procedures in medical studies, the most established and proven procedure is often chosen as the benchmark to evaluate any new procedure against. This is commonly referred to as “the gold standard” procedure. When reviewing medical literature about weight loss surgery, the gastric bypass is the procedure to which others are compared. There is an abundance of data from countless studies on the safety and results of gastric bypass surgery. This includes long-term data, extending for decades, because the gastric bypass has been the benchmark for so long.
Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery
Type 2 diabetes resolved in 78% of people 1
High blood pressure resolved in 66% of people 2
High cholesterol improved in 94% of people 3
Obstructive sleep apnea resolved in 76% of people 1
- Tice JA, Karliner L, Walsh J, et al. Gastric banding or bypass? A systematic review comparing the two most popular bariatric procedures. Am J Med. 2008 Oct;121(10):885-893
- Pories WJ, Swanson MS, MacDonald KG, et al. Who would have thought it? An operation proves to be the most effective therapy for adult onset diabetes mellitus. Ann Surg. 1995;222(3):339-350.
- Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric surgery. A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2004;292(14):1724-1737.
The gastric bypass goes by many names. You may have heard it called simply a bypass, or a roux-en-Y, or a roux-en-Y gastric bypass. These are all names for the same procedure. The term gastric bypass is derived from a description of the route food will take after the surgery.
How it Works
When you eat after a gastric bypass, food goes down the esophagus into the top portion of the stomach. This part of the stomach has been separated from the rest of the stomach and creates a new, small pouch like stomach. The food then passes directly into small intestine that has been connected to this pouch, thus bypassing the remaining part of the stomach and first one and a half feet of small intestine. The bypassed stomach and small intestine are then re-connected to the small intestine which carries the food from the pouch. This new connection is made almost five feet from the point at which the food exits the stomach pouch. The new connection allows the food from one segment of small intestine to mix with the digestive juices that travel down the bypassed intestine. This configuration of two segments of small intestine joining into one resembles a “Y”, and gives rise to the name roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The mixture of food and digestive juices then is absorbed in the remaining downstream small intestine. The result is that just over six feet of small intestine will no longer be absorbing significant calories, and thus you will not absorb all of the calories that are consumed. This mechanism is called malabsorption, and it is the extra tool for weight loss that distinguishes the gastric bypass and duodenal switch from the gastric band, gastric balloon and sleeve gastrectomy. This extra tool, of not absorbing all the calories that are consumed, helps with initial weight loss and greatly improves chances of keeping the weight off long term.
To learn more about whether Gastric Bypass Surgery may be an effective weight loss treatment for you, or to schedule a consultation with one of our weight loss surgeons, please fill out the form below or call us at (214) 838-7171.