Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery” is a commonly used obesity treatment. It is applied only to patients who meet the necessary criteria. It is highly successful in achieving weight loss and eliminating other negative risks associated with obesity.
What is Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is an obesity treatment in which a significant portion of the stomach and a portion of the small intestine are bypassed surgically. With this surgical treatment, patients reach a feeling of fullness with much less food. Additionally, the absorption of food in the small intestine is reduced.
Both consuming less food and absorbing only a portion of the consumed food make weight loss easier. However, reducing absorption also carries the risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. To mitigate this risk, patients need to be mindful of their diets and consume foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamin and mineral supplements may also be necessary when needed.
How is Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery Performed?
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is one of the most comprehensive obesity surgery methods. It involves interventions in both the stomach and the small intestine, leading to significant changes in the digestive system.
The procedure is performed using a minimally invasive technique known as laparoscopic surgery. Only 4-5 small incisions, each about 0.5-1 cm in size, are made in the abdominal area, resulting in minimal scarring.
Gastric bypass involves several stages within the procedure. Here are the details of these stages:
- The patient is first placed under general anesthesia.
- Incisions are made, and a camera is inserted through one of them, while medical instruments are inserted through the others to access the surgical area.
- Approximately 90-95% of the stomach is bypassed, leaving only 5-10% connected to the esophagus. This creates a small stomach pouch.
- A section of the small intestine, usually 70-90 cm long, is cut, and the newly created end of the small intestine is connected to the stomach pouch.
- The section of the small intestine that was originally connected to the bypassed stomach is reconnected further down the small intestine.
- After leak checks, the procedure is completed.
The name “Roux-en-Y” is given to this procedure primarily due to the alterations made to the small intestine. The section of the small intestine where it connects to the stomach pouch is called the “roux.” Since the small intestines form a Y-shape in the new system, the procedure is named accordingly.
Advantages of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is suitable for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. Those with a BMI between 35 and 40 and serious conditions like type 2 diabetes can also undergo this procedure, but the final decision should be made by the surgeon.
This procedure both reduces the size of the stomach by 95% and reduces the absorption of food in the small intestine. This results in several advantages, including:
- A significant reduction in stomach volume, leading to a feeling of fullness with much less food.
- Reduced absorption of calories due to bypassing a portion of the small intestine.
- The section of the stomach connected to the esophagus is not removed but is rerouted through the small intestine, allowing for continued use of digestive fluids produced by the stomach.
Gastric bypass is an effective procedure, but it is not suitable for everyone. It is typically recommended for individuals who have been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise. Additionally, it can be an option for those who did not achieve their desired results with sleeve gastrectomy.
Risks of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RGB) is a complex surgical procedure involving direct manipulation of the stomach and small intestine, which comes with significant risks. The risks associated with gastric bypass include:
- Internal bleeding
- Redness and bruising
- Pulmonary embolism
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Anastomotic leak (leakage at the surgical connections)
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Intestinal and stomach obstruction
- Intra-abdominal adhesions
- Gallstones and gallbladder issues
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nutritional deficiencies
As you can see, there are many important risks associated with the procedure. However, the likelihood of these risks occurring can be significantly reduced by choosing an experienced surgeon and following post-operative instructions diligently.
It’s crucial to remember that for a successful and complication-free Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, selecting a medically suitable clinic and an experienced surgeon is of utmost importance.