For over 30 years, we have been performing the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. It is considered the “gold standard” in bariatric surgery.
The gastric bypass works by restricting food intake and decreasing the absorption of food calories. Food intake is limited by creating a small stomach pouch that is about the size of an egg. In addition, absorption of food reduced by “bypassing” part of the digestive tract.
At Penn State Hershey Medical Center, almost all gastric bypasses can be performed laparoscopically by using 5 small incisions rather than one large incision. Laparoscopic gastric bypass patients usually have less pain, quicker recoveries, and fewer complications.
However, not all patients are suitable for laparoscopy. Patients who are super morbidly obese, who have had previous abdominal surgery, or who have complicated medical problems may require a traditional abdominal incision.
After gastric bypass, patients can expect to lose on average about 60-80% of their excess body weight.
However, having gastric bypass surgery does not guarantee weight loss. This surgery is not effective without behavior modification and nutritional counseling. Approximately 20-30% of gastric bypass patient can regain weight. This is usually due to the return of bad eating habits.