Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery is often the most effective treatment for patients suffering from morbid obesity and those who have severe acid reflux.
The size of the patient’s stomach is decreased so that only small portions of food can be consumed and part of the intestines are bypassed meaning that less calories are absorbed.
Is RYGB Right for Me?
If you are morbidly obese with severe reflux RYGB may be a suitable treatment. Within the first two years, patients can expect to lose between 70-80 percent of their excess body weight.
Advantages of Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery facilitates weight loss in three ways by:
- Limiting the amount of food which can be consumed by the patient.
- Restricting the amount of nutrients the body can absorb.
- Altering the level of gut hormones, leading patients to feel fuller after small meals.
Because the procedure for gastric bypass surgery is laparoscopic it is less invasive, reducing the amount of scarring and ensuring a quicker recovery.
There are risks involved in RYGB surgery:
- staple line leak
- staple line bleed
- internal hernia causing bowel obstruction
Some patients also experience side effects such as:
- diarrhoea after a fatty meal
- dumping after too much sugar
What is involved in Gastric Bypass Surgery?
During gastric bypass surgery Dr Dolan will:
- Make small incisions in the abdomen.
- Insert specialised surgical tools, including a camera, through the incisions.
- Divide the stomach into two portions, one large and one small.
- Sew or ‘staple’ the smaller section to make an egg-sized pouch.
- Create an opening between the stomach and the intestine.
- Attach the small intestine to the small stomach pouch (the Roux-en-Y surgical technique).
Preparing for Gastric Bypass Surgery
Before the procedure Dr Dolan will run a series of tests to ensure that patients are ready for surgery. Patients will need to follow an eating plan set out by their surgeon and dietitian.
Dr Dolan will go over the specific instructions for preoperative care, but generally patients will need to:
- Go on a liquid diet a week before surgery.
- Avoid eating after midnight, the day before surgery.
- Ask a friend or family member to be at the hospital for support and comfort.
Patients may also want to purchase the foods, drinks, and medications they will require after surgery.
What to Expect After Gastric Bypass Surgery?
After surgery there are three stages in the recovery and treatment process.
During the first month patients must:
- Stay in hospital for 2-3 days.
- Adhere to a strict liquid only diet for two weeks, before moving on to pureed foods.
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Rest for two weeks before resuming normal activities.
For the second month patients will:
- Advance to a solid diet, gradually reintroducing normal foods to their diet.
- Experience rapid weight loss of 5-7 kilograms per month.
From the third month patients will adopt a long-term diet plan designed by their surgeon and dietitian to help them maintain their desired weight.
In the first two years after surgery patients typically lose between 70-80 percent of their excess body weight. There is a chance that a small number of patients may gain ten percent of their body weight back in the fifth year.
To avoid this weight gain patients can:
- Sign up for nutritional counseling.
- Continue follow up with their surgeon and dietitian.
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
What are the Costs or Funding Options for Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Costs will vary from $0 to $6000 out of pocket expenses depending on the complexity of the surgery and the previous surgery weight. Dr Dolan will discuss costs at your first consultation.
Medicare rebates are available for this procedure and our surgery offers payment plans for patients.
For more costs and information, visit our Costs page.
Gastric Bypass Surgery FAQs
Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most effective treatments for patients suffering from morbid obesity. It is often a good option for those who have had no success with weight loss through non-surgical methods. During the procedure, the size of the stomach is decreased so that only small portions of food can be consumed and part of the intestines are bypassed so that less calories are absorbed by the body.
Bypass surgery is often suited to patients who are morbidly obese or overweight with a co-morbid condition. This surgery is also often used for revisional surgery for patients who have had gastric band or gastric sleeve surgery and regained the weight.
Gastric bypass surgery helps patients lose weight in a number of ways. The amount of food which can be consumed is limited, the amount of calories that the body can absorb is restricted, and the level of gut hormones is altered, which means that patients generally feel fuller after small meals.