Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y (pronounced "roo-on-why") gastric bypass is one of the weight-loss options UT Southwestern Medical Center offers to treat obesity and related health complications.

The gastric bypass is the most reliable operation for long-lasting weight loss because of its multiple mechanisms. With a realistic diet and exercise plan, a patient can reasonably expect to lose about one-third of their total body weight within a year of the operation and 65 percent to 75 percent of excess weight in one to one-and-a-half years.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Highlights

  • The most extensively studied bariatric operation
  • The most effective operation for weight loss
  • Helps to reduce the perception of hunger
  • Reduces the effective stomach size from the size of a football to the size of a golf ball and skips about three feet of small intestine to train you to eat less and, in turn, absorb less fat
  • The most effective treatment for diabetes, often resulting in immediate improvement
  • The most effective treatment for heartburn/acid reflux in morbidly obese patients

Weight Loss Achieved Through Metabolic Changes

There are two parts to a gastric bypass: The first part involves the creation of a small gastric pouch about the size of a golf ball. The second part involves rerouting the small intestine so that the first 75 centimeters to 100 centimeters of small intestine are skipped or bypassed. The remaining 10-plus feet of small bowel are left undisturbed.

This procedure combines a restrictive operation that makes you eat less with a minimally malabsorptive operation that decreases the amount of fat absorption. There is plenty of small intestine left. Gastric bypass surgery also dramatically lowers ghrelin levels, which is the hormone that makes you feel hungry. 

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Requires a Commitment to Vitamins

This operation is considered malabsorptive because most vitamins get absorbed in the first portion of the small intestine, which is bypassed. Because some vitamin deficiencies may cause permanent, irreversible damage, it is very important for patients to make a lifelong commitment to taking vitamins.

By skipping or bypassing the first several centimeters of small intestine, the body also becomes more sensitive to insulin and helps to control blood sugars in most diabetics even before any weight has been lost at all. In many instances, blood sugars levels are much easier to control immediately after gastric bypass surgery.

In addition to effective diabetes control, the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is arguably the best operation for patients with acid reflux. Mechanically, the acid stream is diverted so that the acid-secreting part of the stomach is separated, ensuring there can no longer be backsplash of acid on the esophagus.

Attend a Bariatric Surgery Information Seminar

Attend one of our free, no-obligation bariatric surgery seminars to meet our team and learn about the procedures we offer. Our bariatric surgeons, dieticians, and other team members will explain each procedure, what you’ll need to do before and after surgery, and answer any questions you may have. To reserve your seat, please complete and submit the sign-up form.