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A gastric bypass (also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) is surgery to help you lose weight. It does this in two ways. First, it makes the stomach smaller. Second, it changes the connection between the stomach and the intestines. These changes help you eat less and feel full sooner.
This procedure can be done in two ways:
The laparoscopic approach is used most often.
You will be asleep during the surgery. The doctor will separate the upper part of your stomach from the rest of your stomach. This forms a small pouch. This new pouch will hold the food you eat. The doctor will connect the new stomach pouch to the middle part of your small intestine. Then the doctor will close the incisions with stitches. The incisions leave scars that fade with time.
After the surgery, the food you eat will go from the small pouch to the middle part of your intestine. Food will no longer go through the lower part of your stomach or the first part of your intestines.
You will stay in the hospital 1 or more days after the surgery. In a laparoscopic surgery, most people can go back to work or their usual routine in about 2 to 4 weeks. In an open surgery, it takes 4 to 6 weeks to get back to usual routines.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: December 11, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & C. Dale Mercer MD, FRCSC, FACS - General Surgery
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