At Singing River Weight Loss Center, we employ several different bariatric surgery procedures that represent the best of what is available in the field. Of the procedures offered, the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass is the most invasive, but also the most effective. It is not for everyone and is reserved for those who are severely obese.
What is Roux-en-Y Surgery?
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery involves rerouting the digestive tract to change the way the body holds and processes food. First, surgical staples are used to isolate a small section of the upper stomach, a step that will restrict the amount of food that can be consumed at one time. This small section is then connected to the middle section of the small intestine, known as the jejunum. The remainder of the stomach and the duodenum (the upper segment of the small intestine) are bypassed.
How does Gastric Bypass work?
At our Mississippi Gulf Coast practice, we offer Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass because it has the best rate of success among the surgical weight loss methods currently in use. The effectiveness of this procedure can be attributed to the combination of effects that it has on the body. By both restricting the capacity of the stomach and shortening the route that food takes through the intestine, Roux-en-Y Surgery results in rapid and significant weight loss.
Advantages of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
- Most patients undergoing this procedure see an estimated amount of 70% of their excess body weight lost.
- This is an appetite suppressant surgery. The hormones responsible for stimulating appetite are separated from the new pouch, and most patients have a decreased sense of hunger for at least the first year after surgery.
- Recognized as the gold standard by American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
Risks of Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
- The new small stomach pouch may stretch out, resulting in weight regain.
- There is potential for the staple lines along the side of the stomach or small intestine to leak or bleed.
- There is potential for malnutrition and vitamin deficiency with this procedure due to some vitamins being absorbed in the bypassed portion of the small intestine. Mainly Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin B12 deficiencies can occur if daily vitamins are not taken. To prevent these bariatric surgery risks, the Singing River Weight Loss Center Team will recommend a daily regimen of vitamin supplements that is designed to make up for the body´s decreased ability to obtain vitamins from food.
- Patients can still get stomach ulcers after a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and these ulcers may not heal if you are smoking. Therefore, smoking cessation is a must before weight loss surgery.
- A condition known as “dumping syndrome” can occur as the result of rapid emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine. This is sometimes triggered when too much sugar or large amounts of food are consumed. While generally not considered to be a serious risk to your health, the results can be extremely unpleasant. This is described in more detail later in your pre-op journey.
All surgical weight loss techniques involve restricting stomach capacity. Because human beings have a primal drive to eat when we feel hunger, it is very difficult to force ourselves to stop eating before our stomachs are full and satisfied. This is why most diet plans are unsuccessful. They require people to attempt to overcome a basic human instinct.
However, by significantly reducing the size of the functional stomach, surgical weight loss allows a person to feel full and satisfied after eating a very small amount of food. In fact, it effectively prevents a person from overeating, because that very small amount of food is all that the stomach will hold.
In addition to restricting the stomach, Gastric Bypass Surgery also reduces the amount of calories that can be absorbed into the body by reducing the amount of small intestine that is used by the digestive tract.
In the process of digestion, the job of the stomach is both to hold food as it is eaten and also to break it down into a useable form. Once the food has been processed in the stomach, it enters the small intestine, where the calories and nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. This procedure leaves the uppermost section of the small intestine out of the digestive tract, thereby shortening the absorption process. The body has less capacity to extract calories from the food as it is being digested, which prevents the absorption and storage of excess calories as fat.
At Singing River Weight Loss Center, we perform bariatric surgery laparoscopically, which involves the use of a laparoscope, a long thin device with a tiny camera on the end and thin surgical instruments to perform surgery without creating large incisions. This technique results in reduced pain and quicker healing time for most patients. However, although the external incisions from laparoscopic surgery are small and usually heal quickly, it is still an invasive procedure, and it will take time to recover fully. Patients will typically remain in the hospital for up to two nights after surgery and must follow a strict dietary regimen during recovery.