What is the Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass procedure?

Gastric bypass surgery is a weight loss procedure which entails creating a small pouch from the upper part of the stomach. This pouch is disconnected from the main part of the stomach. A length of small intestine is bypassed and the small intestine downstream is then attached to the new gastric pouch. This is done in one of two configurations- either the tradition Roux-en-Y set up, or as a single loop. The single loop is also called the single anastomosis (join), bypass.

Gastric bypass surgery combines volume reduction (restriction) as well as a degree of impaired absorption due to the bypassed length of small bowel. The bypassed length is not available for absorption and digestion. The  bypass procedure therefore reduces the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed. Much like gastric sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy), in gastric bypass surgery there are also alterations in signaling around satiety and hunger which promote weight loss.

The stand out feature of the gastric bypass surgery is that, in contrast to the gastric sleeve, no stomach is removed. It is simply compartmentalised. Thus the procedure can in fact be reversed in the rare circumstance that complications of gastric bypass surgery require this.

The gastric bypass procedure has been performed for more than 30 years and is considered to be the “gold standard” in weight loss procedures.


What should I know about gastric bypass surgery?

As with the lap-band and the sleeve gastrectomy, the gastric bypass has its own inherent benefits and risks.

As a consequence of this procedure, the levels of some minerals and vitamins may become low in the blood. Therefore there is a requirement to take lifelong multivitamin supplements following this, and any weight loss surgical procedure.

There are also risks around the surgery itself, and the anaesthetic administered to facilitate the operation. These risks, while uncommon, can have a significant impact and prolong the recovery process.

It is better to talk to your Surgeon in person about these risks. Any questions you may have about gastric bypass surgery and its risks can be answered to your satisfaction.

Considering a Gastric Bypass Procedure?

To fully understand whether this procedure is right for your situation, talk to a qualified bariatric surgeon.