Gastric Bypass, Roux-en-Y

If you seek to lose large amounts of excess weight or have Type 2 diabetes, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery may be your best option. Your doctor and our bariatric team at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill will help you decide.

Gastric Bypass, Roux-en-Y ImageWhat is Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass?

In gastric bypass surgery, a weight-loss surgeon makes small incisions in your abdomen. Using laparoscopic instruments (small tools with a light), the surgeon staples part of your stomach to create a small pouch that connects directly to your small intestine.

This smaller pouch will affect you in these ways:

  • You’ll feel full more quickly.
  • You’ll absorb fewer calories and nutrients because the food you eat bypasses part of your small intestine.

Over time, this increased sensation of fullness and reduced calorie absorption may help you lose 60 to 70 percent of your excess weight.

What to Expect After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Plan to spend one or two nights in the hospital. Because UNC Medical Center usually performs gastric bypass as a minimally invasive weight-loss surgery, you’ll recover faster with less pain and scarring than you would after open surgery.

You’ll lose the most weight within the first year after surgery. If you have Type 2 diabetes, you’ll likely be able to reduce or stop taking diabetes medications. As with gastric sleeve surgery, our team works closely with you to help you follow important lifestyle changes after surgery. These include making better food choices and exercising regularly to keep weight off.

Attend weight-loss surgery support groups to meet and learn from your peers. Receive guidance and tips to make the most of your bariatric surgery over the long term.

Possible Complications of Gastric Bypass

You're in good hands because UNC Medical Center's Bariatric Center of Excellence has low complication rates for weight-loss surgery. Count on our academic medical center for all the care you need, even for possible side effects and complications such as:

  • Leak or infection
  • Bleeding or Clotting
  • Bowel obstruction, or blockage in the small intestine
  • Dumping syndrome, or nausea and diarrhea caused by food passing too quickly from your stomach to your small bowel
  • Hernias, in which tissue or organs bulge through nearby muscle or other tissue
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Ulcers in your stomach, intestine or esophagus

Follow your care team’s nutrition guidelines carefully after surgery. Take the vitamins your doctor prescribes to make sure you get all the nutrients you need.

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