If you or a loved one have been recommended gastric bypass surgery, you likely have some questions. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is one of the most commonly performed bariatric procedures throughout the U.S. In most cases, it is performed as a laparoscopic procedure where a tiny, telescope-like camera is inserted through a small incision made in the abdomen. This can also be done as an open procedure, where a larger, midline incision is made in the abdomen.
This type of gastric bypass surgery involves reducing the size of your stomach to a pouch about the size of an egg. This is done by fastening the upper section of your stomach. Doing so reduces the amount of food that you can consume. The surgeon proceeds to attach the smaller stomach (pouch) to a section of your small intestine known as the Roux Limb, forming a Y shape. When you consume food, it bypasses a large portion of your stomach and the upper section of your small intestine. This decreases the number of calories and fat that get absorbed into your bloodstream but also reduces the intake of essential vitamins and minerals.
When Would I Need Roux-en-Y Weight-Loss Surgery?
Roux-en-Y bypass surgery is used to treat patients with severe obesity. It is one of the bariatric procedures that your doctor may recommend if you’ve not had any success with a healthier diet and exercise regimen. Your doctor may recommend this procedure if you have conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea.
6 Benefits of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
Below are six of the most common benefits of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery.
- Improvement in Comorbidities – For patients who have conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and sleep apnea, this surgery helps alleviate risks and significantly reduce symptoms.
- Increases Longevity – Since this surgery helps reduce health risks associated with obesity, it can also help improve your lifespan.
- Fewer Incisions and Scarring – Our surgeons use a laparoscopic technique, which means the incisions are much smaller, promoting improved healing and reduced scarring.
- Improves Quality of Life – Patients who undergo this gastric bypass surgery often experience improved mobility, improved blood sugar levels, less stress, better sleep, and other health benefits. They can also better participate in social activities such as sports, which may help with depression.
- Rapid Weight Loss – Due to the intense calorific restriction, immediate weight loss is common after surgery.
- Long-term Weight Loss – This procedure is specifically designed to promote lasting weight loss.
How Do I Prepare for a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Your doctor must ensure that you are a good candidate for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. This is an intricate and life-changing procedure that is not recommended for those with substance or alcohol abuse. This surgery is also not recommended if you are not committed to a lifelong lifestyle change in a better diet and exercise.
Before undergoing surgery, we will educate and prepare you for the procedure. This involves conducting a series of physical exams and nutritional counseling, and we may also need to perform a psychological evaluation. We will also discuss how you can expect your life to be after surgery.
Before scheduling your procedure, we will first try to work with you on losing any weight you can as well as help you stop smoking if you are a smoker. This helps make your liver smaller, ensuring a safer operation. You will also need to stop taking blood-thinning medication such as ibuprofen and aspirin days before you undergo surgery. You should not eat or drink anything about twelve hours before the surgery.
What Happens During a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Just as with any surgery, there are several steps. While undergoing Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery, you can expect the following:
- General anesthesia is administered, causing you to sleep through the surgery.
- Laparoscopy is the procedure where your surgeon makes small incisions into your abdomen. A laparoscope is inserted, and small surgical tools are placed into these incisions.
- The surgeon uses a laparoscopic stapler to form a small pouch from the upper section of your stomach.
- The stapler is then used to divide the upper section of your small intestine into a tube.
- The Roux limb, which is one end of your small intestine, is connected to the stomach pouch through an anastomosis. The other end of your small intestine is joined to another section of the small intestine.
- Your surgeon will then test for leaks by use of an upper endoscopy or dye study.
What Happens After The Surgery?
We will provide you with a detailed post-surgery care plan. This includes instructions on taking medication, bathing, eating, exercising, and sleeping.
The first week after the operation, you may experience abdominal pain and an upset stomach. For the first month, you can only consume small amounts of soft foods. You also need to drink enough water to prevent constipation. To help avoid improper nutrition, our doctors may prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements that you may need to take for the rest of your life.
We are a premier bariatric surgery facility dedicated to providing quality healthcare services to patients with weight issues. Drs. Michael Williams and Brendon Curtis are compassionate general surgeons who use their knowledge and skill to perform this life-changing procedure with precision.
Don’t let obesity get in the way of your life and your health any longer! Contact Atlanta Bariatric & General Surgery to schedule your consultation today!