Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is both the oldest and best known type of weight loss surgery and, although other surgical procedures have been developed in recent years, it still remains a firm favorite with many surgeons and patients.
The success of the Roux-en-Y lies very much in the fact that, having been around for many years, it has a proven track record.
It is also an operation which many bariatric surgeons are familiar with and are skilled at practicing.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery has not however ‘stood still’ and today an large number of surgeons are performing the Roux-en-Y laparoscopically as well as in its traditionally ‘open’ form.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery involves a three stage process.
First, the stomach is divided to create a small portion, or pouch, which acts as the new ‘working’ stomach. This dramatically reduces the quantity of food which the patient can consume and so the number of calories that can be introduced into the body.
Next, the intestine is divided so that between 15% and 20% of the small intestine is bypassed, shortening the normal 20 feet of intestine to approximately 16 or 17 feet.
Finally, the bypassed section of the small intestine is connected to the lower intestine in order to permit digestive juices to mix with food as it passes through the digestive system.
The principal of the Roux-en-Y is that it promotes weight loss by both restricting the amount of food which the patient is able to eat and reducing the absorption of calories from food passing through the digestive tract.
This lowering of the absorption of calories within the digest tract makes the Roux-en-Y a better option than simple restrictive surgery, such as laparoscopic gastric banding, for many patients The bypass in the case of the Roux-en-Y is also reasonably short and so it is also safer than surgeries involving a duodenal switch and longer bypass of the intestinal tract.
Like any other form of surgery, Roux en Y gastric bypass surgery is not risk free. However, overall, most patients consider the risks to be acceptable and a reasonable price to pay for some excellent results, which can often see a weight loss of around seventy percent of excess weight.