Millions of individuals have successfully lost significant amounts of weight with the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure. Often simply referred to as “gastric bypass,” this bariatric surgery option has been effectively utilized for decades, and it is one of the most commonly performed procedures here at our practice.
The sections below explain many aspects of the gastric bypass treatment and what you can expect. If you would like to learn more, please contact us today. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have, or assist you with scheduling a consultation.
What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is one of the most time-tested and popular forms of weight loss surgery. The procedure is designed to reduce the size and capacity of the stomach, enabling patients to eat less before feeling full, absorb fewer calories, and lose significant amounts of weight. Our bariatric surgeon James N. Parrish, MD performs gastric bypass surgery with the laparoscopic technique. This method involves the use of very small incisions and special surgical instruments so that the procedure is less invasive than traditional gastric bypass techniques. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery typically leads to a quicker procedure, minimal scarring, and a more rapid recovery time.
What Is Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass?
Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery can help patients who suffer from morbid obesity achieve a more slender physique and a healthier lifestyle. Dr. Parrish understands that obesity is a disease that can affect your entire physical and emotional well-being. That’s why he is committed to offering you comprehensive treatment and services that can address a number of issues you may encounter on the road to better health. In addition to an experienced weight loss surgeon, our staff consists of nutritionists, psychological counselors, and many other professionals who are here to help you through the weight loss process. Our program also offers support groups, free seminars, and aftercare services designed to help you make necessary lifestyle and dietary changes and ensure you are losing weight safely and effectively. Dr. Parrish and the entire team are here to help you on this exciting new journey, and we will assist you every step of the way.
What Are the Benefits of Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is known for its exceptional results in patients from all across the U.S. Benefits of this procedure include:
- Many patients experience a loss of up to 60-70 percent excess body weight after just one year
- Many patients have experienced a significant reduction and even complete elimination of comorbidities (health conditions related to obesity) including Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and depression. In fact, gastric bypass surgery has shown to cure Type II diabetes in at least 80 percent of patients who had the condition.
- Procedure is designed to minimize scarring and surgery/recovery time
Gastric Bypass Vs. Gastric Sleeve: What Are the Differences?
Two of the most popular bariatric procedures are gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery. These treatments have different benefits, and the right one for you may depend on several factors. Both techniques have similar recovery times and typical weight loss results, but the way they approach treatment is different. In gastric bypass surgery, Dr. Parrish will create a small pouch from the stomach and attach this to the small intestine. In gastric sleeve surgery, however, the stomach is reduced in size and a significant portion is removed, leaving only a small banana-shaped sleeve. Gastric bypass may better suit patients with very high body mass index (50 or higher), severe diabetes, or very bad GERD. Other considerations will apply, and Dr. Parrish will help you determine the right option for you at your initial consultation.
What Are the Gastric Bypass Requirements?
To be a good candidate for gastric bypass surgery, you should have already tried to lose weight through diet and exercise and been unable to find sustained success. Your body mass index should be 35 or higher, unless you suffer from serious weight-related health issues, in which case your BMI should be 30 or higher. While some young people may need bariatric surgery, we typically want patients to be 18 years of age or older, although special circumstances may apply. Your primary care physician and Dr. Parrish will both evaluate you to determine if weight loss surgery is in your best interest. Bariatric surgery requires significant changes in lifestyle, and you must be prepared for these challenges physically and psychologically. Of course, you’re not alone in this process. We will be with you every step of the journey toward improved health and greater well-being.
Is Gastric Bypass Surgery Safe?
All surgical procedures carry risks; however, Dr. Parrish is committed to utilizing maximum safety precautions that can help reduce the risks of gastric bypass surgery. He has more than 20 years of experience with these procedures and has performed gastric bypass surgery many times. During the initial consultation, Dr. Parrish will discuss all of the potential risks of this treatment and explain what can be done to mitigate those risks. With the use of state-of-the-art surgical techniques and careful consideration of all pre- and post-operative guidelines, the potential for complications resulting from gastric bypass surgery can be greatly minimized.
What Does the Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery Procedure Involve?
Candidates for the laparoscopic gastric bypass procedure include patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 35, or a BMI of 30 or higher with at least one obesity-related health condition. Dr. Parrish will begin the procedure by making several small (1/4 to ½ inch) incisions along the abdomen. He will separate a small portion of the stomach and attach it to the small intestine. When the small intestine is connected to the new, smaller stomach pouch, it creates a “Y” shape, which gives “Roux-en-Y” gastric bypass surgery its name.
Your intake of food will be routed into this smaller stomach chamber and then directly into the lower intestine, thus “bypassing” the majority of the stomach. This action makes it possible to do two things: give you an earlier feeling of fullness at mealtimes (the stomach chamber will only be able to hold a few ounces of food at a time); and limit the calories normally absorbed by the body.
The laparoscopic gastric bypass also affects several hormones in the body, so that the sensation of hunger is decreased in between meals. Dr. Parrish will talk with you about all risks and benefits of this procedure at your initial consultation and help you determine whether this procedure is the best option for your needs.
What Can I Expect During Gastric Bypass Surgery Recovery and Aftercare?
Gastric bypass surgery usually requires a two-night stay in the hospital. There will be some minimal discomfort after the procedure; however, it can be managed with medication. Most patients return to work after about a week, and more strenuous exercise can often be resumed after about one month. It is important to note that there will need to be significant lifestyle and dietary changes after this procedure. Dr. Parrish will schedule regular and lifelong follow-up appointments to ensure that you are losing weight safely and effectively.
What Can I Expect From the Gastric Bypass Surgery Results?
The success rate from gastric bypass surgery is very high – patients average about 60-70 percent reduction of excess weight, and many individuals reduce or completely eliminate obesity-related threats to their health. This is, of course, in addition to obtaining a slimmer appearance and a restored self-confidence. However, bariatric surgery is not a cure for obesity – it is only a tool to help you in your efforts to lose weight. The best chances of success lie in the combination of the initial surgery and your commitment to regular follow-up, including the dietary and lifestyle changes necessary to accomplish your goals. We offer a comprehensive weight loss program and support system with lifetime follow-up to help you live a healthier life.
Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Have Side Effects?
Your stomach volume—the amount of food that can comfortably be held—will shrink considerably after the procedure. This helps you to feel full faster, but it’s important to manage portion control to ensure you do not stretch your stomach by repeatedly overeating. Some patients may experience side effects initially, such as nausea, which should fade with time. Other potential unwanted issues can develop if the proper diet is not adhered to, including dumping syndrome, bowel obstruction, and malnutrition. We will work closely with you to minimize the likelihood of side effects and allow you to achieve the optimal outcome. To avoid these concerns, be sure and follow your physician’s post-surgery guidelines as directed.
What Are the Complications Associated with Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Complications following gastric bypass surgery are unusual, but they can happen. It’s important to understand the possible risks so you are well-informed about your options. Vomiting, ulcers, bowel obstructions, malnutrition, low blood sugar, gallstones, diarrhea, dumping syndrome, and gastrointestinal leaks are some of the unlikely complications. Dr. Parrish has performed hundreds of these procedures, and he takes great care to provide the safest treatment possible using the latest minimally invasive techniques.
Gastric Bypass Diet
Gastric bypass surgery is only the first major step on your weight loss journey. The next steps will involve undertaking the dietary changes that are critical to safe and successful weight loss. One of our nutritionists will put together a special diet plan that will serve several purposes. The gastric bypass diet will allow your stomach to properly heal following the surgery, help you acclimate to the smaller amounts of food that will be necessary since the stomach itself will be smaller, reduce the risk of complications after the procedure, and ultimately help you lose weight and keep it off.
Not every gastric bypass diet is the same; your diet plan will be customized to your specific needs. For at least 24 hours after surgery, you will need to stick to clear liquids only. As you are better able to handle clear liquids, other liquids can be introduced into your diet. In many cases, patients are able to begin eating puréed foods after about one week of liquid dieting. If you tolerate these well for a few weeks, Dr. Parrish may determine that the time is right for you to begin eating soft foods. Typically, after eight full weeks on the gastric bypass diet, patients are able to begin eating solid foods again; however, it is very important to follow the nutritionist’s instructions about what foods you can try and how much of each you should eat during one meal.At this point after gastric bypass surgery, there may be some types of solid food that can cause pain or nausea, so it’s best to listen to the dietitian and take things slowly and carefully. It’s also important to closely follow directions as to when and what you should eat and drink each day, as well as the appropriate measurements of the food you will eat. You will also be asked to eat slowly and to be sure you are properly hydrated at all times. Taking the recommended daily vitamin and mineral supplements is also a crucial part of the gastric bypass diet. You will be given detailed post-operative instructions and dietary guidelines so that you will know exactly what to do after weight loss surgery.
Remember, this diet is one of the most critical aspects of the entire treatment. It can aid your recovery and gradually ease you into a new, healthy diet that can help you reach your weight loss goals. Our team will explain everything you will need to know about what to expect, and we are here to answer your questions at any time.
How Much Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Cost?
Medical insurance plans more and more often cover in full or in part the cost of bariatric surgery, including a gastric bypass. However, every insurance plan is different, and almost all forms of medical insurance require a patient to show they have made every effort to try to lose weight by other means first and failed. We will help you navigate the claims process, which is often long and complicated. Do not be discouraged—we are always here to assist you. In the event insurance does not cover your procedure or you choose to pay out of pocket, we offer one of the lowest cash prices for gastric bypass surgery in the state. We believe everyone should have access to the care they need, and we will make every effort to help you find a price that works for your budget. We will help you navigate the claims process, which is often long and complicated. Do not be discouraged—we are always here to assist you. In the event insurance does not cover your procedure or you choose to pay out of pocket, the price of gastric bypass surgery is around $17,000, and we offer competitive rates to help patients afford this life-changing operation. We also work with weight loss financing companies that offer appealing terms. We will discuss all of your options at your initial consultation and provide guidance as needed to assist you as best we can.
Are There Alternatives to Gastric Bypass Surgery?
If gastric bypass surgery is not right for you, there are a multitude of weight loss techniques available that may be a better fit for your needs and goals. Other surgical procedures include gastric sleeve surgery and gastric banding. We also offer a non-surgical technique that utilizes the ORBERA™ intragastric balloon. If you want to focus on traditional diet and exercise, we can also help steer you in the right direction to optimize your outcome. We believe everyone suffering from excess weight and obesity can attain a healthier lifestyle that leads to weight loss, and we will provide assistance so you can make the best decision for you.
How Do I Choose a Gastric Bypass Surgeon?
One of the first things to scrutinize when choosing a bariatric surgeon to perform your gastric bypass surgery is the prospective doctor’s background and credentials. A gastric bypass surgeon who is certified by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, such as Dr. Parrish, is one who has completed additional education and extensive training in weight loss surgery procedures. This board-certification is also indicative of a surgeon’s skills, experience, and commitment to high standards of care with bariatric surgery procedures such as gastric bypass. Choosing a surgeon who works at a designated Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence® is also a good idea. This designation signifies that the practice you have chosen includes a comprehensive weight loss surgery program complete with thorough pre-operative and post-operative care and support services.As you go about the process of researching the gastric bypass surgeon whom you feel is right for your needs, please never hesitate to contact the practice with any questions you have. Take a look at the doctor’s biography and educational history, view before-and-after photos, and read patient reviews. Once you have narrowed down your choices, it’s good to schedule an initial consultation and meet with them personally to determine your level of comfort and confidence with their manner, attentiveness, and abilities. You may also want to consider attending a seminar where you can meet with the bariatric surgeon and learn about the procedure. Dr. Parrish offers regular free bariatric surgery seminars that are quite informative, and can ultimately provide you with a deeper understanding of what you can expect from the treatment process.
Learn more about choosing a weight loss surgeon and questions to ask your bariatric surgeon here.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
To help our patients make a well-informed decision about their healthcare options, Dr. Parrish has provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. If you would like to know more, please reach out to our skilled medical team to schedule a consultation.
How overweight do I need to be to qualify for Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery?There is no specific weight a patient must be; however, you should have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 to be considered a candidate for this procedure. Some patients can have a BMI of 35 or more if they also have at least one obesity-related medical condition, such as diabetes or gout, for instance. Dr. Parrish can provide additional details specific to your needs and goals during your initial consultation. It may be that another treatment will better suit you, in which case he can provide guidance.
How much weight will I lose with this procedure?Your response to weight loss surgery may differ from someone else’s. That said, a bariatric procedure is considered successful if the patient loses at least 50 percent of their excess weight. For many people, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery can reduce as much as two thirds of a person’s excess weight. Your commitment to the nutrition and exercise plan will also play a role in how much weight you will lose. It’s unusual for someone to lose all of their excess weight from bariatric surgery; however, numerous health benefits are gained in addition to losing a significant portion of excess fat.
How long will it take to lose the weight?The time frame will vary from patient to patient, but weight loss often begins soon after the procedure and continues for 12-18 months after the operation. You may notice periods where weight loss occurs faster and then slows. Plateaus are not uncommon, but following your customized diet plan and exercise regimen will help you achieve the discussed outcome.
What is the gastric bypass success rate?
For gastric bypass patients who meet the requirements of a good candidate and follow post-surgery recommendations, the success rate of reducing excess weight is typically very high. At least one study has indicated that “weight loss averages 65% for most patients with over 85% of patients losing and maintaining 50% initial excess weight loss.”* Similarly, Dr. Parrish’s patients at Mid Louisiana Surgical Specialists have experienced an average of about a 60-70 percent reduction of excess weight, and many individuals reduce or completely eliminate obesity-related threats to their health. Committing to routine follow-up appointments and implementing the necessary diet and lifestyle changes after your procedure are essential to contributing to the success of your results.
Is there anything you can’t do after gastric bypass surgery?To ensure your body heals appropriately, you will be directed to avoid strenuous activity and lifting objects over 10 pounds for at least the first six weeks after your surgery. It is also highly recommended during this time to pause any movements or obligations that require pushing or pulling motions, such as vacuuming or moving furniture. Our office will provide you with a full list of guidelines to follow after your surgery that details activities that you may need to avoid in order to ensure the safest possible recovery.
Will insurance cover the cost of treatment?While many insurance companies recognize the benefits bariatric surgery can offer, every policy is different. You should confirm your coverage in advance, and we can help you navigate this process. In many cases the insurance company will require evidence that you have attempted other conservative weight loss options for a specified time period before granting coverage. We can discuss what these might be with you during your initial consultation.
When can I return to work after gastric bypass surgery?This timeframe will vary for each patient’s unique work situation and process of healing. In general, the majority of patients take a minimum of one to two weeks off from work and normal daily activities to allow themselves proper time to recover. Work that is more labor-intensive may require additional time.
What happens if I regain weight?Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery has an excellent history of long-term results. It’s important that you maintain your diet and exercise program for the rest of your life to help ensure your outcome is lasting. With care, you should experience minimal weight gain. In the event more substantial weight gain occurs, Dr. Parrish can discuss options with you.
How long is gastric bypass surgery?Patients can generally expect the gastric bypass surgery to take about two hours to complete; however, this is an average calculation. The exact length of the procedure will depend on the needs of each individual patient. Gastric bypass procedures are considered major surgeries and will require general anesthesia. In most cases, patients will need to stay about two nights in the hospital following surgery.
What happens to my skin after I lose weight? Will I need plastic surgery?The answers to these questions vary among patients due to the fact that individuals have different responses based on the condition of their skin and its reaction to significant weight loss. Each person’s unique desires and goals are also different. Once a large amount of weight is lost, it is not uncommon for patients to experience an accumulation of loose, excess skin in certain body areas. If these aesthetic effects become a concern, plastic surgery and procedures designed to eliminate excess skin, tighten the remaining skin, and enhance body contours may be an option worthy of exploration. With this in mind, it is important to note that post-bariatric plastic surgery is considered an elective procedure rather than a medical necessity. While insurance policies often provide coverage for bariatric surgery, they are not likely to cover plastic surgery after weight loss. Dr. Parrish can talk more with you about any concerns you may have about the development of loose skin following gastric bypass surgery and answer your questions.
Will I lose any of my hair after gastric bypass surgery?Although it is usually temporary, it is not uncommon for patients to experience some hair loss after weight loss surgery. Possible reasons could be a reaction to anesthesia or the significant calorie reduction that occurs post-surgery. This condition is typically short-lived, only lasting for a few months. Our doctor can talk more with you about the possibility of temporary hair loss after the procedure and explain steps that can be taken to address this concern.
Is pregnancy after gastric bypass safe?In general, pregnancy is typically safe after gastric bypass surgery as long as your weight has stabilized. Please be sure to discuss any plans you may have for a future pregnancy with Dr. Parrish both before and after the procedure is performed so that he can evaluate your body’s readiness for a potential pregnancy.
Can gastric bypass cure type-2 diabetes?Gastric bypass surgery has been known to produce a long-term remission of type-2 diabetes in a minimum of 80% of patients who have this procedure. The weight loss along with the significant dietary adjustments and changes in lifestyle habits that are part of successful gastric bypass treatment are all positive steps that can lead to the virtual elimination of type-2 diabetes in many patients.
Can Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery be reversed?This bariatric procedure is designed to be permanent; however, technically, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery can be reversed in many cases. This is a rare event, and it will require another surgical procedure.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like more information on laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, or if you would like to schedule a confidential consultation with Dr. Parrish to talk more about your weight loss treatment options, please contact our practice.