Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, the most commonly performed bariatric procedure, alters the digestion process by combining restrictive and malabsorptive elements. In other words, the surgery limits, or restricts, the amount of food intake by reducing the size of the stomach, while also limiting the absorption of foods in the intestinal tract, known as malabsorption.
In normal digestion, food passes through the stomach before entering the small intestine, where most calories and nutrients are absorbed. During gastric bypass surgery, a small pouch is created at the top of the stomach using a plastic band or surgical staples. The “new” stomach is then connected directly to the middle of the small intestine, allowing food to bypass the rest of the stomach and upper portion of the small intestine. The stomach empties through the pouch and directly into the small intestine, where digestion now takes place.
By making the stomach smaller and allowing food to bypass part of the small intestine, patients feel full more quickly. As a result, fewer calories are consumed and absorbed, leading to weight loss.
The procedure can be done laparoscopically through a minor incision, using small instruments and a camera to guide the surgery. This procedure is less invasive and usually less painful than the traditional open procedure, which requires a large incision.