Carrying around extra weight can make even simple tasks difficult. When diet and exercise aren’t enough, bariatric surgery can help you make lasting changes that lead to a better life. Gastric bypass surgery, also called the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, has largely been considered the gold standard of weight loss surgery for years.
At Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, our bariatric surgeons have many years of experience performing gastric bypass procedures on patients of different ages and backgrounds. If you’re ready for a surgical solution to obesity, learning more about this procedure may help you decide if it’s right for you.
Weight loss surgery: Attend a free information session
Are you ready to lose weight and improve your life? At one of our free information sessions, you can meet our weight loss specialists and learn more about bariatric surgery options. Find a session near you by calling (412) 235-5900 (select option 1).
What is gastric bypass surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is a surgical obesity treatment. Before gastric bypass surgery, you will be sedated for your comfort and safety. During the procedure, a bariatric surgeon will:
- Staple off part of the stomach, reducing its size to roughly 1 ounce.
- Divide the small intestine
- Attach the bottom end of the small intestine to the newly created small stomach pouch
- Connect the top portion of the divided small intestine to the small intestine further down, allowing for optimal digestion
Gastric bypass helps you lose weight in several ways:
- A smaller stomach helps you eat less in one sitting, translating to fewer calories consumed.
- Since part of the small intestine is bypassed, fewer calories are absorbed.
- Rerouting food affects gut hormones in ways that help you feel full longer and improve blood sugar control.
Gastric bypass surgery: Pros and cons
Each bariatric surgery approach offers its own advantages and disadvantages. We consider your overall health and circumstances before recommending which bariatric surgery procedures may offer you the best results. Often, you can pick the surgical approach that you prefer.
Gastric bypass advantages
Gastric bypass surgery offers several benefits. It:
- Produces significant long-term weight loss (60 to 80 percent excess weight loss), with most patients maintaining at least 50 percent of that weight loss
- Restricts the amount of food you can consume
- May help you increase energy expenditure (how fast your body burns calories)
- Produces positive changes in gut hormones that help reduce your appetite and enhance your feelings of fullness
- Helps many patients control type 2 diabetes
Gastric bypass disadvantages
Gastric bypass also involves certain disadvantages. It:
- Requires more technical skill than the gastric band or gastric sleeve procedures
- Can lead to long-term vitamin and mineral deficiencies, particularly for vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and folate
- Requires you to follow stricter rules regarding your diet choices, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and follow-up visits
A comprehensive gastric bypass surgery program
When you choose AHN for gastric bypass, you can expect:
- Expertise from board-certified bariatric surgeons with extensive experience performing gastric bypass surgery
- Wide-ranging support to ensure you have the resources you need to succeed, from financial guidance to online recipe ideas
- Team approach from psychologists, dietitians, surgeons, and nurses – all working together to help you achieve your goals
- Convenience of multiple care locations so you can access medical expertise, close to home
In addition to gastric bypass, our bariatric specialists perform a range of weight loss procedures, including:
Schedule or find out more about our bariatric surgery services by calling (412) 235-5900 (select option 1).