Gastric Bypass Surgery

According to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery and the National Institutes of Health, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (stomach stapling) is the current gold standard procedure for weight loss surgery. It is one of the most frequently performed weight loss procedures in the United States.

At Sentara, surgeons perform minimally invasive or Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery. In comparison to traditional open procedures, this approach provides less pain and discomfort, quicker recovery, and less scarring than traditional open procedures. It also decreases the chances of some complications.

Effectiveness of Surgery

The effectiveness of gastric bypass surgery depends upon many factors, including participation in pre-operative and post-operative education programs, ongoing support, age and the sex of the patient. The most important success factor is the patient’s commitment to follow recommended guidelines, incorporate healthy eating habits (high-protein, low-sugar and low-fat diet) and exercise. 

Having a full complement of professionals, including board certified surgeons, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered dieticians and experienced support staff is critical. A comprehensive program includes all of these disciplines. 

In terms of weight loss, depending on the factors above, most people (around 90 percent), will lose between 50 and 80 percent of their excess body weight. For someone weighing 350 pounds, with an ideal body weight of 150 pounds, this is equal to a loss of 100 to 160 pounds. Most of the weight loss occurs in the first six months; people usually reach a stable weight within 18 to 24 months.

Often the greatest benefit of gastric bypass surgery is in reducing the impact of coexisting diseases, and sometimes curing them altogether. For example, 80 to 90 percent of type II diabetics no longer need medication (within days to months) after this operation. Acid reflux is usually cured. Cholesterol levels come down to the normal range. Dependence on blood pressure medication often vanishes. As weight is lost, there is less force on damaged joints, causing much less pain and better mobility. Women with fertility problems may return to a normal ovulation cycle and become pregnant. And, minimized obstruction in the airways often cures sleep apnea.

Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Reversible?

No. Gastric bypass surgery should be considered permanent.

Learn More

You can learn more about the risks and benefits of the gastric bypass by attending a free information session.