Weight loss surgery is a practical option for individuals who are severely overweight and have been unable to lose weight through diet, exercise and medications. It is typically recommended for people with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40. Individuals with a BMI of 35 and higher may be considered if they have another potentially life-threatening illness like Type 2 diabetes. Gastric bypass, or weight loss, surgery makes the stomach smaller and enables food to circumvent a portion of the small intestine, which makes you feel full sooner. Limiting the amount of food that you eat and bypassing part of the intestine where calories and nutrients are absorbed leads to weight loss. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is one form of weight loss surgery.
The Roux-en-Y Procedure
A Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most common type of gastric bypass procedure. Although it can be performed as an open procedure, the surgery is usually accomplished using laparoscopic techniques. The surgeon will make several small incisions through which small camera-guided instruments are used to accomplish the surgery. A laparoscopic procedure generally results in a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery. There is also less pain and a reduced risk for infection and scarring. During the procedure, a small portion of the upper stomach is stapled off to create a new smaller stomach pouch, which will be about the size of an egg. This restricts the amount food that you can consume. A Y-shaped section of the small intestine attaches the pouch to the jejunum, which is the middle portion of the small intestine. Food bypasses the lower stomach and the duodenum, or upper portion of the small intestine, completely. The procedure creates a direct pathway from the pouch to the lower portion of the small intestine.
Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery
Roux-en-Y poses fewer risks than procedures that require the removal of the stomach. Malabsorption procedures, such as Roux-en-Y, result in greater weight loss than restrictive type surgeries. They are also more effective at reversing some of the health problems associated with obesity. On average, individuals who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery lose more than half their excess weight. Although some individuals do regain a portion of the weight, the procedure is highly successful long-term in patients with realistic goals who stay on the recommended meal plan, exercise regularly and keep their scheduled medical checkups.
Why Have Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Being obese can lower your quality of life and result in poor overall health. It may also lead to a higher risk of depression. If you have a high BMI or obesity-related health problems like diabetes, sleep apnea and heart disease, you should consult a weight loss specialist to discuss your options. During the consultation, you will learn about any potential risks and side effects as well as pre- and postoperative care procedures. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery may be the solution that helps you shed those extra pounds, which will improve your appearance and restore your quality of life.