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Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass

What is roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery?

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a type of weight loss surgery. During surgery, caregivers use staples to make a small stomach pouch that is separate from the rest of your stomach. Then they connect the jejunum (middle part of the small intestine) to the new stomach pouch. When you eat, food bypasses the rest of the stomach and goes directly into the jejunum. The surgery makes your stomach smaller so that you feel full sooner and cannot eat as much during meals. Your body will not absorb as many calories from food because part of your stomach and intestines are bypassed.

How is roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery done?

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is usually done during laparoscopic surgery. This is when small incisions are made in your stomach. A laparoscope and other instruments are put through the incisions. A laparoscope is a tube with a camera on the end. You may need a laparotomy. This is when one large incision is made in your stomach.

When will I begin to lose weight?

As you begin to eat differently, you will begin to lose weight. The amount of weight you lose, and the speed at which you lose it, depends on certain things. These include how well you follow your diet and exercise plans, how healthy you are, and how much you weighed before surgery. It may take 18 to 24 months to reach a healthy weight.

What are the risks of roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery?

  • You may bleed too much or get an infection. Your spleen or other organs could be injured during surgery. After surgery, your stomach incision could open up. The staples inside your stomach could break down. The new connections to your stomach and intestines could form scars, narrow areas, or leaks. Stomach juices may leak into your abdomen and you may need emergency surgery. You may develop gallstones or an incisional hernia (a weak area near your surgical incision).

  • Your body may not absorb as many vitamins or minerals after this type of surgery. You may not get enough protein, iron, or vitamins and minerals from food. This can lead to anemia or brittle bones. If you often eat too much and do not follow instructions, you may stretch out your stomach pouch. If you eat too much, too fast, or do not chew well enough before you swallow, you may vomit. You may have abdominal pain, heartburn, or a stomach ulcer. Food that is not chewed well enough may get stuck in your stomach or intestines.

  • You may develop dumping syndrome after surgery. Dumping syndrome happens when high-sugar or high-fat foods and drinks go into your intestine too quickly after a meal. Dumping syndrome may also occur if you drink liquids during a meal. Dumping syndrome may cause you to sweat, or feel faint, weak, and dizzy. It may cause you to feel full, have a fast heart rate, or have stomach cramps. Dumping syndrome may cause you to have an upset stomach and loose bowel movements.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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