Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is one of the most preferred bariatric procedures, wherein the stomach is reduced to a small pouch at the top end, ideally the size of an egg. Generally, the new pouch is surgically connected to the middle part of the small intestine, bypassing almost the entire stomach and upper portion of the small intestine.The newly created pouch becomes the only part of the stomach that receives food and thereafter, a complex chain of neuroendocrine changes occurs in response to this rerouting that facilitates weight loss. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass can either be performed as an open surgery or laparoscopically. Most bariatric surgeons prefer the laparoscopic approach, as it involves smaller incisions and a reduced risk of scarring and infections. Laparoscopically operated patients also recover faster and are less prone to infections.
Roux-en-Y isn’t a quick fix nor is it permanent, as a lot depends on the patient’s change in dietary habits and lifestyle. Nonetheless, RNY gastric bypass is meant for morbidly obese patients with a body mass index of 40 or higher. A bariatric surgeon may also recommend RNY gastric bypass for weight loss for patients struggling with an obesity-linked disorder, such as type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, or any other cardiovascular disease. All in all, a person with a larger than normal body mass index and morbid obesity that can’t be treated with exercise, dietary restrictions, or other weight loss programs, may undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.
Expected Weight Loss
Most patients shed anywhere between 60 to 80 percent of their excess weight after undergoing gastric bypass for weight loss. In fact, the results are most prominent during the first 18 months after surgery. Though there is a possibility of weight regain after surgery, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is certified as the “Gold Standard” of bariatric procedures, and the results are even better than traditional sleeve gastrectomy. The only way to keep weight at bay post surgery is to stick to a strict diet plan and avoid skipping follow-up sessions with your bariatric surgeon.
RNY gastric bypass carries certain risks that can be mitigated with help from an experienced bariatric surgeon. Notable risks and complications include:
- Dumping Syndrome
- Nausea or vomiting
- Small Bowel Obstruction
- Staple Line Leaks
- Stomach pouch problems requiring a revision surgery
- Nutritional Deficiency
Road to Recovery
An RNY gastric bypass patient needs to stay 2 nights in hospital before they can be discharged. The stomach is sensitive at first and therefore, patients can only take liquids or pureed foods for 4-6 weeks, before solid foods can be incorporated into their diet. Patients may experience mild discomfort and pain during the initial few days after surgery, which requires pain medications. The discomfort vanishes as the wound heals. Dumping syndrome is a possibility, as the food goes directly from the stomach pouch to the small intestine. To avoid dumping syndrome, chew foods properly before swallowing and refrain from carbonated beverages or fatty foods. Weight loss will be gradual but noticeable within the first 18 months. During the course of recovery, it’s important to prevent nutritional deficiencies, and for that to happen, take medication on time, especially supplements such as:
- Calcium Citrate
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin B12
Begin Your Weight Loss Journey Today
Roux-en-Y redefines the way patients consume food, as the newly created pouch only holds a limited amount, making patients feel full earlier than before. As patients start losing weight after surgery, they may experience issues such as body pain, dry skin, mood changes, and an urge to binge eat, which is all normal and will subside once their weight stabilizes. Nonetheless, RNY gastric bypass is only a tool to facilitate weight loss, provided you commit to a healthy lifestyle and eating habits. Even after undergoing surgery, you need to keep in touch with your dietitian and bariatric doctor to ensure progress in your weight loss journey. If you or someone you know are struggling with morbid obesity, bariatric surgeons at Perth Surgicals and Bariatrics can help. To learn more on RNY gastric bypass, gastric bypass vs gastric sleeve, schedule an appointment here. You can also call us at 08 6558 1901.