Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery, also called roux-en-y gastric bypass, is one of two bariatric surgeries performed at MetroHealth. On average, gastric bypass surgery can help you lose 60%–80% of your excess weight.
What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is more complex than gastric sleeve surgery. During the procedure, your stomach is first divided into two sections, one smaller – about the size of an egg – and one larger. The larger portion will no longer be used to digest food. Then your small intestine is divided. The bottom portion of the small intestine is connected to the new smaller section of your stomach, bypassing the larger portion. The surgery usually takes two to four hours.
Gastric bypass surgery helps you lose weight in a number of ways.
- The surgery changes the size of your stomach, which limits the amount of food and calories you consume.
- Food bypasses most of your stomach and part of your small intestine. As a result, your body absorbs fewer calories (as well as nutrients) from food.
- The procedure affects hunger hormones, so you feel less hungry.
- It also affects hormones that control feelings of satisfaction, allowing you to feel full after eating less food.
MetroHealth surgeons usually perform gastric bypass surgery laparoscopically rather than using open surgery. The surgeon makes small cuts, typically less than one half inch long, and inserts a laparoscope, a tool outfitted with a light and a camera, into your abdomen. The camera is connected to a video monitor during the operation, which allows the surgeon to see inside your body and perform the procedure without open surgery.
People who undergo laparoscopic surgery tend to experience shorter recovery periods, less pain and minimal scarring, as well as decreased risk of infection.
Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Right for You?
Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most commonly performed bariatric surgeries in the United States, according to Sergio Bardaro, MD, surgical director of the MetroHealth Weight Loss Surgery and Weight Management Center. It is very safe and can lead to significant, sustained, long-term weight loss if you are severely obese.
Gastric bypass may be a good option if you have high blood pressure, severe acid reflux or diabetes that has required you to be on insulin for less than eight years.
Because gastric bypass is a more complex procedure than gastric sleeve, there may be a higher chance for complications and a longer hospital stay required. Gastric bypass can also lead to nutrient deficiencies. You will need to take vitamin and mineral supplements for life.
Finally, your new, smaller stomach is connected to a portion of the small intestine that does not absorb sugar or starches well. So if you have gastric bypass, you will need to significantly limit the number of sugary or starchy foods you eat for the rest of your life.
Still, the benefits outweigh all this, according to Dr. Bardaro, who had gastric bypass surgery himself.
“I fought obesity all my life, and I understand the difficulties my patients have to go through,” Dr. Bardaro said. “After I had surgery, I was able to keep a healthier weight. I don’t need to take the medications I took before surgery. Now, I have normal cholesterol and control of my blood pressure. It made a big difference for me.”
Gastric Bypass Surgery at MetroHealth
The care that Dr. Bardaro takes shows how providers at the MetroHealth Weight Loss Surgery and Weight Management Center work with you to provide personalized care.
“These are operations where you need the finest skills a surgeon can have,” said Dr. Bardaro, a board-certified surgeon with fellowship training who has performed extensive research in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery. “When I was completing my fellowship, I was able to see how much – with a single operation – I was able to change and make an impact in the lives of patients. That was a tremendous reward. There’s no surgery I have done in my entire career that provided me with the most rewarding event of patients changing and improving their lives.”
The Weight Loss Surgery Program has received center of excellence certification from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program the highest level of certification for obesity care in the U.S. Our bariatric surgeons are highly trained, skilled physicians with extensive experience performing gastric bypass and other bariatric surgeries.
Learn why bariatric surgery was the right choice for some of our patients – and why it might be the right choice for you.Meet our patients
More About Bariatric Surgery