Roux-En Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) – Facts, Risks & Costs
It may seem like you need to take a course in anatomy to understand how Roux-En Y gastric bypass surgery works, but lucky you: you’ve stumbled upon our handy guide where it’s all broken down for you, nuts to bolts.
What is Roux-En Y Gastric Bypass?
Let’s be clear: there’s gastric bypass surgery, and then there’s Roux-En Y gastric bypass. Essentially, the Roux-En Y procedure is a type of gastric bypass, but not the only type. This means the surgery is done through small incisions with tiny tools rather than open surgery, thus it is a less invasive type of surgery.
Ever heard of “stomach stapling”, as in “he lost a lot of weight after he had his stomach stapled” ?
Step by step, it goes like this:
- The surgeon creates a little stomach from your regular-sized stomach by stapling it up.
- Now you can’t fit as much food into your stomach so you feel full faster and eat less.
- The food you do manage to eat still needs to pass out of the stomach and into the small intestine, which is now connected to the stapled off part of your stomach and therefore cut off.
- Therefore, the surgeon has to connect your small intestine to the little pouch that was made in step 1. The stomach is attached to a lower part of the small intestine, meaning your food “bypasses” much of that organ. This means there’s less opportunity for the food to get absorbed into your digestive system.
- That means you’re now absorbing fewer calories (but also fewer nutrients).
Now maybe it’s easier to see why the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is effective: it delivers results in a two-pronged attack:
- It leaves you with a smaller stomach so you eat less
- It leaves you with much of your small intestine not being used, so you absorb fewer calories
Here’s A Video Of How Gastric Bypass Works
The Risks of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
What can go wrong with the mini gastric bypass? Well it is surgery, and there are always inherent risks whenever you get the surgeons involved. There is cutting involved after all. Common risks of surgery apply to the laparoscopic gastric bypass…infection of the incision, reactions to anesthesia, and heart/lung issues.
Now that that’s out of the way, the specific risks of this sort of gastric bypass include:
- Your staples fall apart. This simply means your doctor has to go in an get the broken parts out of your body.
- Your little stomach pouch stretches out. Over time, your mini stomach, created by the surgery, can go back to original size.
- Gallstones. People who lose lots of weight rapidly can get gallstones. Your doctor may advise you to take medicine to dissolve them, or even have your gall bladder taken out.
- Dumping. This happens when the food you eat goes too quickly from the stomach to the small intestine, or too much sugar is ingested.
- Leakage. Stomach acid can leak into the body and eat into your organs.
- Internal hernias.
As with all types of gastric bypass surgery, there are risks of vitamin and iron deficiencies. While it may seem like a long list of risks, you could look at any surgical procedure and come up with a similarly lengthy list of things that can go wrong.
Compared to all the types of bariatric surgery, gastric bypass is the one of the best in terms of long-term success. If the risks of gastric bypass scare you, try making a list of all the things that can (and probably will) go wrong if you continue to live your life as a morbidly obese person. That list will be miles longer in comparison and even life threatening. Everything is relative, and nothing is risk-free in life.
The Costs of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
Keep in mind that price should never be your first or only consideration when selecting a surgeon. This is your life, your body we’re talking about here, and saving a few thousand may sound good at first, but once you’re being wheeled into the operating room of a ‘cheap’ or ‘expensive’ surgeon, you may question your reasoning. For the RYGB Gastric Bypass pricing, please refer here.
Not that a low-priced surgeon necessarily means he or she isn’t skilled. Studies have shown that price and skill aren’t directly correlated…what you want to know about a surgeon would be his experience and how often his or her patients experience complications after gastric bypass surgery. In general, complications after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery are reasonably low.
Try and find a good middle ground between price, experience, complication record, and bedside manner and you’ll find a surgeon that’s right for you.