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This time-tested surgical option for weight loss is also one of the most common. The Roux-en-Y produces weight loss in two different ways. First, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch, sealing it off from the rest of your stomach; this restricts the amount of food you can eat. Then the surgeon reroutes your digestive system to bypass the larger part of your stomach and part of your small intestine. The result of the bypass is that you absorb fewer calories and nutrients from the food you eat. The procedure can usually be done laparoscopically, but you will still need to stay in the hospital for two or three days.
- Average weight loss is greater than with other procedures, such as the adjustable gastric band and sleeve gastrectomy. Some conditions related to excess weight – such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension – may begin to improve even before you lose much weight. This is most likely due to changes in digestive-system hormones and how they interact with the food you have eaten.
- No adjustments are needed after surgery.
- Because the procedure reduces your ability to absorb nutrients as well as calories, you will need to take supplements for the rest of your life.
- You will have to severely limit your intake of sugars and starches, or you may have uncomfortable physical consequences, including vomiting and diarrhea. (Some people consider this an advantage, since it helps them stay away from such foods.)
- Complications include the possibility of leaks, bleeding, blood clots, infection and blockages.
- The procedure generally is not considered reversible, except in the case of complications.