What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?   

Gastric Bypass Surgery provides an excellent tool to limit the amount of food eaten and to change how food calories are absorbed. It must be understood that the surgery is not magic: it works with you, not for you. By working consistently to make appropriate food choices and behavioral changes, a successful, long-term health impact is possible.  The gastric bypass surgery or Roux-en-Y procedure involves creating a stomach pouch out of a small portion of the stomach and attaching it directly to the small intestine, bypassing a large part of the stomach and duodenum. Not only is the stomach pouch too small to hold large amounts of food, but by skipping the duodenum, fat absorption is substantially reduced.

How Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Work?

Gastric Bypass Surgery will change:

  1. The volume of food you can comfortably consume at one time
  2. Your relative tolerance of the foods you consume
  3. Your absorption and digestion of fat calories to a large degree
  4. Your absorption and digestion of proteins to a lesser degree
  5. Your absorption and digestion of the calories from sugars, starches and alcohols to a very small degree

To best understand the bariatric surgery post-surgical diet, it is important to understand how the digestive system works before and after surgery. Diet and exercise is the basis of success after bariatric surgery. Following good weight control & diet practices will help you lose more weight in the early stages of post-surgical life and maintain that weight loss, later. These principles are discussed at each NorthShore University HealthSystem support group meeting to help keep you on track.

Benefits of Minimally-Invasive Gastric Bypass Surgery

  • Small Incisions (most less than 1/2 inch)
  • Hospital stay is 1 to 3 days
  • Patients usually return to work in 2 weeks
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less pain
  • Less chance of hernias

Success and Benefits 

Although complications can occur, the benefits of surgery can outweigh the risk in the carefully selected patient. Recent studies have demonstrated that up to 80% of excess body weight can be lost. Also, 95% of co-morbidities (diseases related to obesity) can be controlled or cured. 


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