Doctor taking blood pressure of patient.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

We understand that your weight health is specific to you. We make sure that our weight loss surgeries, such as the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, fit your personal weight loss plan in a respectful and caring manner.

Gastric Bypass Medical DiagramRoux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery is a bariatric surgical procedure designed to help patients lose weight. It uses laparoscopic (minimally-invasive) techniques to close part of the stomach, creating a smaller upper stomach pouch that bypasses the lower stomach. This helps limit the amount of fat and calories you absorb from food.

Whereas the stomach can naturally hold four to six ounces of food, the smaller stomach pouch created by the surgery can only hold about one ounce. This small pouch (about the size of an egg) is then connected to a lower part of your intestines (the Roux Limb) creating a “Y” shape, hence the name.

Before your weight loss procedure, your doctor will provide you with educational material regarding the surgery.

The operation begins with general anesthesia and an IV. During the operation, a breathing tube is inserted through your mouth and into your (esophagus) to help you breathe throughout the procedure.

Your surgeon will use several tiny keyhole incisions to insert small fiber-optic laparoscopes into your abdomen to perform the surgery. Once these are placed, your abdomen will be inflated to help access and view the stomach and intestines.

Using the laparoscopes, your surgeon will seal the stomach near its upper end, creating a small pouch, and detaching it from the rest of the stomach. Your surgeon will also cut and separate the upper section of your small intestine from the digestive tract.

Your surgeon then takes the lower part of your intestine (from what was cut earlier) and attaches it to your new smaller stomach pouch, bypassing the stomach and upper intestine altogether.

The upper part of your small intestine is then connected to the lower intestine to allow the pancreas to continue to secrete necessary digestive enzymes.

After the operation, you can typically eat only up to a single cup of food without discomfort or nausea. You will likely over time lose the ability to eat large amounts of food in one sitting and you must thoroughly chew your food. Ideally, you will progress to eating modest amounts of food without feeling hungry.

Though gastric bypass surgery has become an efficient long-term weight-loss treatment, weight loss surgery itself carries certain side effects and possible complications. Because of the complex nature of the procedure, gastric bypass surgery can lead to:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Leakage along the digestive seals created
  • Scarring and strictures

The procedure also carries general bariatric surgery risks. These include:

  • Excess skin due to rapid weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Gallstones
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 

Bariatric surgery changes your life forever. Aside from physical side effects, the psychosocial impact of your weight loss surgery can bring dramatic changes (both positive and negative) to your lifestyle. These can affect your personal relationships and your relationship with food. To help you during this significant adjustment period, we offer support groups to encourage you along your weight loss journey.

Doctors Specializing in Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

At Providence, you'll have access to a vast network of dedicated and compassionate providers who offer personalized care by focusing on treatment, prevention and health education.