Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y) Offered by Top Surgeons at Mercy
The weight loss surgeons of The Maryland Bariatric Center at Mercy are experienced in performing gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y) surgery. Known in the Baltimore area for expertise in bariatric surgery, Mercy's team is committed to providing patients a comprehensive approach to weight loss surgery.
What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is a highly effective weight loss procedure that significantly reduces the size of the stomach, and re-routes a portion of the intestine to bypass part of the digestive system.
There are two steps during gastric bypass surgery:
- Staples are used to divide your stomach into a small upper section (called the pouch) and a larger bottom section. Because the smaller pouch only holds about 1 ounce of food, you will eat less and lose weight.
- A part of your small intestine is re-routed to the smaller pouch. This bypass means your body will absorb fewer calories.
Typically this surgery is performed with very small incisions using a tiny camera, called a laparoscope. This camera allows the surgeon to see inside your abdomen.
Advantages of laparoscopy include:
- A shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery
- Less pain
- Smaller scars and a lower risk of getting a hernia or infection
Who should consider Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass is a permanent procedure and should be considered carefully along with other treatment options. You may be a good candidate if:
- You have tried non-surgical weight loss options without long-term success
- You are ready to commit to a lifetime of behavioral and dietary changes
- Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 40 or higher
- Your BMI is 35 or higher, and you experience obesity-related health complications
- You fully understand the procedure, the risks, and the post-operative requirements
Who is not a good candidate for Gastric Bypass Surgery?
If you do not meet the Body Mass Index qualifications
- BMI is 40 or higher
- BMI is 35 or higher, and you experience obesity-related health complications
If you haven’t tried non-surgical weight loss treatment options
Nutritional counseling, medical weight-loss programs, increased activity and other lifestyle changes should always be considered and tried before exploring surgical options.
If you are not ready to make major lifestyle changes
Gastric bypass should never be considered a quick fix for obesity. Gastric bypass is a life-altering procedure that requires a commitment by the patient to make big and permanent changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle. Long-term success is dependent on your willingness to follow pre- and post-operative directions.
If the surgery is too risky for your current health condition
In some cases, a patient will need to address other health concerns, or even lower their BMI through alternative weight loss methods in order to safely undergo a gastric bypass.
What happens before and after a Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Your surgeon will ask you to have tests and visits with other health care providers before you have this surgery. Some of these are:
- Consultation with the surgeon
- Educational seminar to help you understand the procedure and requirements
- Blood tests, and other tests to make sure you are healthy enough to have surgery
- Nutritional counseling (most insurance companies require 3-6 months of supervised weight loss in order to qualify)
- Psychological evaluation to determine if you are emotionally ready for the surgery
- Classes to help you prepare for surgery
After the surgery, a strategic recovery plan will ensure lasting results. You will meet with a dietician, and follow a special post-operative diet during the first month. Regular post-op visits will help assess your progress and support groups are available to provide encouragement and understanding as you adjust to your new lifestyle.
What is the typical outcome for Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass is one of the most effective weight loss procedures. It is possible to lose 60-70% of excess weight within the first one to two years after surgery.
Weight loss will decrease over time, but following a healthy diet and exercise will help you lose more weight. The decrease in appetite and smaller stomach pouch will also help you eat fewer calories.
In addition to weight loss, most patients experience a large reduction or elimination of obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and digestive problems.