The stomach is divided to create a small pouch, about 5% of the total stomach volume, meaning you can eat a very small amount of food before feeling full. The small bowel is also divided and attached to this new small pouch, bypassing the original stomach and reconnecting further along the digestive system. As well as restricting the volume of food intake, the bypass also reduces levels of the gut hormone ghrelin, causing a loss of appetite.
The gastric bypass procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours and usually involves a 2 night stay in hospital. Most patients are back at work after 1-2 weeks. It is a laparoscopic (keyhole) procedure so scarring is minimal.
Although a more complex procedure than gastric banding, in expert hands it is a safe and very effective form of weight loss surgery.
Careful long term follow up is essential after a gastric bypass to help you achieve your weight loss goals and to ensure that your nutritional status is optimal.