Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most frequently performed weight loss procedures in the United States. In this procedure, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch, about the size of a large egg. The pouch is created by dividing the small intestine just beyond the first 50cm of small intestine, also called the duodenum, for the purpose of pulling it up and attaching it with the newly formed stomach pouch. The other end of the small intestine is connected into the side of the Roux limb (the portion of the small intestine attached to the new small stomach) creating the "Y" shape that gives the technique its name.
There are some distinct advantages of the laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass over other procedures. The first is the fact that most patients lose weight for the first year and a half. In essence, the surgery forces you to change your eating habits. There is a "golden period" after gastric bypass--the time when the body becomes accustomed to less food and patients have an easier time developing good eating habits.
Simply put, the gastric bypass procedure requires less willpower than a band to be successful early on. However, in the long term they both require a commitment to change, including the way patients eat. There is strong data which shows that with gastric bypass surgery, many people lose the majority of their excess weight and are successful in keeping it off.
What is Laparoscopic Surgery?
When a laparoscopic operation is performed, a small video camera is inserted into the abdomen. The surgeon views the procedure on a separate video monitor. Most laparoscopic surgeons believe this gives them better visualization and access to key anatomical structures.
The camera and surgical instruments are inserted through small incisions made in the abdominal wall. This approach is considered less invasive because it replaces the need for one long incision to open the abdomen. A recent study shows that patients having had laparoscopic weight loss surgery experience less pain after surgery resulting in easier breathing and lung function and higher overall oxygen levels. Other realized benefits with laparoscopy have been fewer wound complications such as infection or hernia, and patients returning more quickly to pre-surgical levels of activity.
Laparoscopic procedures for weight loss surgery employ the same principles as their "open" counterparts and produce similar excess weight loss. Not all patients are candidates for this approach.