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Roux-en-Y (RNY) Gastric Bypass

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The gastric bypass is a restrictive and malabsorptive operation that restricts the amount of food you can ingest, and reroutes the intestine so fewer calories are absorbed.

The stomach is divided into two parts with a surgical stapler: the “pouch” and the “remnant stomach.”

  • The “pouch” is the new stomach and is about the size of a golf ball. It will restrict the amount of food that can be eaten at one time.
  • The “remnant stomach” is the remaining stomach that will continue making digestive juices and assist in digestion.
  • For the malabsorptive portion of the procedure, your surgeon will cut the upper portion of the small intestine into two parts. The bottom part will be pulled up and attached to the new “pouch.” The remaining intestine (the top part) will be reattached to the small intestine, creating a Y shape. The top part of the intestine is the bypassed portion of the intestine.

Food will travel from the mouth into the small pouch. Because the new pouch is small, you should feel full sooner than you had in the past. The brain will signal the “remnant” pouch to make digestive juices. The food from the pouch and the digestive juices from the remnant stomach will combine in the intestine and digestion will occur.

After gastric bypass, you can expect to stay 2-3 nights in the hospital. You will need to follow a special diet to allow for healing and to avoid complications. In about two months, most patients return to a regular healthy eating plan. Because the new pouch is so small and a portion of the intestine has been bypassed, certain vitamins and minerals can no longer be absorbed like they once were. Therefore, vitamin and mineral supplements will be needed for the rest of your life.