The most common and successful surgical weight-loss procedure, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, is extremely effective in helping obese individuals lose excess weight and regain good health. During surgery, a small stomach pouch is created to restrict food intake. Afterward, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is re-routed and attached to the new pouch. This 're-routing' allows food to bypass the lower stomach, and the upper parts of the small intestine, which in turn, reduces the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs. The small stomach pouch created during surgery can hold only about two to four tablespoons (three ounces) at a time-which drastically reduces the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. A gastric bybass patient will typically lose weight rapidly immediately following the surgery and for the next 18-24 months. Eventually, the patient's weight will begin to level out, most likely stabilizing at about 20 to 40 percent above his or her ideal body weight.
In 85% of the cases, the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure can be achieved through minimally-invasive, or laparoscopic methods. As with any laparoscopic procedure, the recovery time, patient discomfort, and risks, are reduced when compared to open surgery. However, not all patients are candidates for laparoscopic procedures-this determination can only be made by a surgeon after a patient consultation. Gastric bypass surgery carries the same risks as any other major abdominal surgery. Holy Cross Hospital follows established safety protocols to help keep risks to an absolute minimum. Life -threatening complications or death are rare, occurring in less than one percent of patients.
Shortly after surgery patients are in their room. Sitting up in a chair or walking around is encouraged. Gradually, physical activity will increase, with near-normal or normal activity resuming a few weeks after surgery.