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Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Description of procedure:

  • a gastric pouch is created at the top of the stomach, either by stapling or vertically banding most of the stomach or by removing portions of the stomach
  • the gastric pouch is then connected to the small intestine, thereby bypassing the duodenum and some or all of the jejunum
  • very effective at weight loss and may be the best option in diabetes and acid reflux (1)
  • disadvantages include:
    • risks of surgery are higher than for simpler operations, it is essentially irreversible and you will need to take daily vitamin supplements for life after surgery (1)
    • obstruction can occur at the sites of formation of modified GI tract
    • patients may develop gallstones due to rapid weight loss (2)
    • flatulence and loose stools may be experienced especially if dietary changes have not been made to low fat, low sugar choices
    • dumping syndrome may occur if a patient eats too much sugar, fat or alcohol, or large amounts of food
      • not considered a health risk, but can be very unpleasant with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, sweating, faintness, weakness and tachycardia


Impact on nutrition:

  • impacts on the absorption of iron, vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D
  • long limb bypasses may affect absorption of protein, fat, vitamin A and trace elements in addition


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