The gastric bypass procedure is considered to be the most advanced and most successful procedure for weight-loss surgery to date. In this procedure, a small (15-20cc) stomach pouch is created (usual stomach is approximately 1,500cc or greater).
The remainder of the stomach is not removed, but is completely divided from the smaller stomach pouch. The outlet from this newly formed stomach pouch is then connected directly to the jejunum, the first part of the small intestine where digestion takes place.
This connection bypasses calorie absorption in the duodenum, the first 12-inch section of the small intestine directly below the stomach. This is done by dividing the small intestine just beyond the duodenum and constructing a connection with the new, smaller stomach pouch. The remaining (large) stomach is connected into the digestive tract approximately 75cm downstream of the new stomach.
This allows for the body to continue with normal absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, as the “large” stomach continues to make chemicals that are vital to the normal digestive process.
Gastric bypass is not a principally malabsorptive procedure. Gastric bypass is primarily a restrictive procedure, which gives the patient a feeling of fullness and satiety on a very small amount of food, with a very small degree of malabsorption. Gastric bypass is the only weight-loss operation that has been shown to reduce levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone), which significantly reduces cravings for food, and results in “satiety” and not just “fullness.”
Malabsorptive procedures, such as the biliopancreatic diversion (BD) and duodenal switch (DS), have fallen out of favor due to high risk of complications and are, therefore, not offered at Alvarado.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass can be done either as a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) or open procedure. The laparoscopic procedure is performed through five or six small incisions, rather than with one large incision, as with the open procedure. The laparoscopic approach leads to less discomfort, thereby allowing a faster recovery. If the laparoscopic gastric bypass is performed by a highly skilled surgeon, it has been shown to result in less complications than the open procedure.
U.S. studies show that the average maintained excess weight loss after gastric bypass is 50% to 75%. Success rates at Alvarado Hospital have been consistently higher than national averages. It is important to recognize that the long-term success with weight loss is widely variable, depending on choice of surgeon, surgical technique, patient compliance and commitment to aftercare.
Physician Referral and More Information
For more information on Alvarado’s Surgical Weight-Loss Program, contact us at 619-229-7019.