Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) is a procedure where your surgeon closes off the majority of your stomach, leaving just a small pouch that is the connected to the lower part of your small intestine. This does two (2) things: it physically reduces the size of your stomach which limits the amount of food you can eat; and it bypasses a portion of the small intestine so you don’t absorb as many of the calories you do consume. The bypassed portion of the stomach remains in your abdomen and is attached to the bowel which allows the normal digestive enzymes to assist in digestion by combining with food farther down in the bowel. 

RYGB helps you lose weight in two (2) ways. First, it physically reduces the amount of food you can eat since the new ‘stomach’ will hold only 1 ounce of volume. Second, by bypassing a significant portion of your original stomach, it also bypasses the gut hormones that control feelings of hunger, satiety and appetite, allowing you to feel full faster and longer. These hormones also play a significant role in blood sugar and insulin production, which often results in improvement of type 2 Diabetes. 

Since your new stomach is so much smaller, you will need to make lifelong changes to your diet to restrict calories. And because RYGB connects your new stomach directly to your intestines, it also results in malabsorption of nutrients, so you will also need to follow a regimen of dietary supplementation for the rest of your life. The shortened digestive process also means that there is a risk of ‘gastric dumping’ if you eat too much or too quickly or consume something with a very high fat or sugar content. Dumping means that the food moves through your system too quickly and can cause nausea, bloating and diarrhea. 

You can expect to lose up to 70 percent of your excess body weight within the first year after RYGB surgery. Because this is a complicated surgery, your hospital stay may be longer (up to 2 days) and there is a slightly higher risk of complication from the surgery. The surgery is still performed laparoscopically and the healing time for your stomach requires you to strictly follow your post-operative instructions for maintaining a liquid diet for a period of time before introducing solid foods.