Find a Doctor

Gastric Bypass Surgery


Gastric bypass surgery is the most common type of weight loss surgery performed in the United States. These procedures help patients to lose weight by reconfiguring the digestive system, and sometimes restricting the stomach, to reduce the amount of calories that can be absorbed by the small intestine. Candidates for gastric bypass surgery may not only be experiencing reduced self-esteem and mobility issues, but also a wide range of obesity-related health problems. Gastric bypass procedures can help patients suffering from obesity lose between 100 and 200 pounds. In fact, studies have shown that gastric bypass patients lose 60 percent of their excess weight and maintain that weight, even ten years after surgery. Learn more about the surgical techniques that are utilized in gastric bypass procedures, as well as the types of gastric bypass procedures that are performed by surgeons.

Surgical Techniques

  • Malabsorptive procedures: the malabsorptive surgical approach entails altering the digestive system to decrease the body's ability to absorb calories. Gastric bypass procedures such as biliopancreatic diversion procedures are typically in the malabsorptive surgery category.
  • Restrictive procedures: Restrictive procedures involve the closing off parts of the stomach to make it smaller, thus decreasing the amount of food that can be eaten. Gastric banding procedures such as LAP-BAND® System surgery generally fall in the restrictive bariatric surgery category.
  • Combined approach: Some gastric bypass procedures, such as the Roux-en-Y procedure is a combination operation in which stomach restriction and a partial bypass of the small intestine. These approaches work together and result in one of the most effective treatments for severe obesity.

Gastric Bypass Procedure Types

  • Biliopancreatic Diversion (BPD): Biliopancreatic Diversion involves first creating a reduced stomach pouch and then diverting the digestive juices in the small intestine. The first part of the small intestine, where most of the calories are normally absorbed, is bypassed. That section, which contains the bile and pancreatic juices, is reattached to the small intestine much further down.
  • Duodenal Switch: There is a variation of this procedure called Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch. This operation utilizes a larger stomach "sleeve" and leaves the beginning of the duodenum attached, but is otherwise very similar to standard BPD.
  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: The most commonly performed weight loss surgery in the United States is Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. This operation involves severely restricting the size of the stomach and altering the small intestine so that caloric absorption is inhibited.
  • Mini Gastric Bypass: The mini gastric bypass procedure is less invasive than other gastric bypass procedures because it is performed laparoscopically and requires smaller incisions. Instead of a stomach pouch, a small tube is used to bypass the highly absorptive portion of the intestine.
  • Extended (Distal) Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGBP-E): This weight loss surgery procedure is a variation of the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass operation. It differs in that a somewhat larger stomach pouch is created, but a significantly longer section of the small intestine is bypassed. There is less emphasis on restricting food intake quantity and more on inhibiting the body's ability to absorb calories.

Contact a Bariatric Surgeon

To find out if you are a good candidate for any of the gastric bypass procedures listed here, contact a gastric bypass surgeon in your area. DocShop is a comprehensive patient resource that can help you find an experienced surgeon; browse through our directory to connect with a physician specializing in gastric bypass treatments.

Want More Information?

Contact a Doctor Near You.