Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y)

How does the procedure work?

The surgeon will effectively shorten your digestive system by removing part of your bowel and making your stomach smaller. This means you will only be able to eat much smaller meals. The procedure also means food now bypasses part of the bowel and so reducing the amount of energy the body can absorb from the food.

How long will I be in hospital?

Patients can often go home after two nights in hospital, but occasionally a third night is required for observation.

How much weight will I lose?

Weight loss can occur quite quickly at first and then becomes more gradual with on average a 60-70% loss of excess weight within two years.

What are the risks and side effects specific to a gastric bypass?

As with all surgery choosing to have a gastric bypass carries risks. The most serious is leakage where the bowel is cut and then re-joined, this could lead to infection. 

How long does it take to recover after surgery?

After gastric bypass surgery you will need to get plenty of rest and continue with your post-op diet, however, you will also be encouraged to gradually build up activity and start to take exercise. Recovery times vary but most people can return to work 2-3 weeks after surgery, as long as your job is not too strenuous.


Results for gastric bypass procedures

The graph above shows percentage excess weight loss. An example to illustrate what this means would be someone weighing 20 stone whose ideal weight is 10 stone, they would have 10 stone of excess weight, 100%. If they lose 50% of their excess weight they would then be 15 stone. This is a useful way to compare results after bariatric procedures because it then does not matter how much people weigh to start with or how much weight they lose, it's all relative to the individual.