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This procedure is the bariatric operation of choice for 70% of US bariatric surgeons. The GBP, also known as the “Roux-en-Y” gastric bypass surgery, has been performed for 30 years with a continuous evolution of technical changes to make it more effective and safe. This procedure is typically performed laparoscopically with a 1 to 2-night hospital stay in most cases.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery uses a combination of restriction and malabsorption. During the procedure, the surgeon creates a smaller stomach pouch. The surgeon then attaches a Y-shaped section of the small intestine directly to the pouch. This allows food to bypass a large portion of the small intestine, which absorbs calories and nutrients. Having the smaller stomach pouch may cause patients to feel fuller sooner and eat less food, and bypassing a portion of the small intestine means the patient’s body may absorb fewer calories.

Gastric bypass surgery results

We recommend the GBP as an excellent tool to help patients lose weight and keep it off long term. Weight loss from this procedure averages 60-80% loss of excess body weight. Gastric bypass is a highly effective bariatric procedure because patients not only often eat less and feel full quickly, but they also do not fully absorb the food they eat. Best results occur when patients are adherent to our post-op dietary and exercise programs.

There are also often health and quality of life benefits to having this surgery. Studies found that gastric bypass:

  • Resolved type 2 diabetes in 83.8% of patients and often resolved the disease within days of surgery*
  • Resolved high blood pressure in 67.5% of patients*
  • Improved high cholesterol in 95% of patients*
  • Often improved the overall quality of life, physical functioning, and social and economic opportunities

Potential Patient Concerns

  • A condition known as dumping syndrome can occur from eating high-fat, high-sugar foods. While it isn’t considered a health risk, the results can be very unpleasant and may include vomiting, nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, and diarrhea.
  • Patients must supplement their diet with a daily multivitamin and calcium. Some patients must take vitamin B12 and/or iron.
  • The stomach, duodenum, and parts of the small intestine cannot be seen easily using X -ray or endoscopy if there are problems after surgery such as ulcers, bleeding, or malignancy.

*Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA 2004;292(14):1724-37.