McLaren Port Huron - an accredited bariatric surgery center

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

roux-en-y gastric bypass procedure illustration

The gastric bypass incorporates both a restrictive and malabsorptive components of bariatric surgery. The Roux-en-Y bariatric procedure is restrictive as it involves reducing the size of the stomach, usually using staples, to create a small pouch which becomes completely separate from the remainder of the stomach. Part of the intestine is divided and bypassed to provide a new conduit for the new small pouch. A "Y" configuration is created as complete intestinal continuity is re-established by joining the new draining channel from the small stomach pouch to the rest of the intestine. Because part of the intestine is bypassed, not all calories are absorbed in the body and eating high calorie foods may provide discomfort. This procedure has been the standard of care for many bariatric patients as its historical results have been long standing among current procedures done today. 

Common answers to questions about Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass


Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Information:

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery

Procedure Risks

Return to Work 

Physical Activity

Diet and Supplements 



What is involved in a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure?

The most commonly performed bariatric procedure, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is both a restrictive procedure and a malabsorptive procedure. During Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, a small stomach pouch is created to curb food intake by stapling a portion of the stomach. Then a y-shaped part of the small intestine is attached to the stomach pouch so that food can bypass the duodenum, decreasing the absorption of food nutrients. (Back to Top) (Index of Questions) 

What is the recovery time following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery?

The hospital stay for patients who undergo the Roux-en-Y procedure is usually two to four days. Patients are encouraged to get out of bed and start walking by the next day. Most individuals return to work in two to three weeks. (Back to Top) (Index of Questions) 

Can Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery be reversed?

Reversal of the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery would require an operation in order to reconnect the intestines to the stomach and reestablish the digestive system. (Back to Top) (Index of Questions) 

What are the major risks of this surgery?

  • Dehiscence (separation of tissue that was stitched or stapled together)
  • Leaks from staple lines
  • Ulcers
  • Dumping syndrome, an unpleasant side effect that may include vomiting, nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, and diarrhea
  • Required supplementation of diet with a daily multivitamin, calcium, and sometimes vitamin B12 and/or iron
  • Inability to detect the stomach, duodenum, and parts of the small intestine using X-ray or endoscopy, should problems arise after surgery such as ulcers, bleeding, or malignancy
  • Increased gas (Back to Top) (Index of Questions) 

What is dumping syndrome?

Dumping syndrome is a condition where ingested foods bypass the stomach too rapidly and enter the small intestine largely undigested. It can begin during or right after a meal. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, dizziness and fatigue. Dumping may also happen one to three hours after eating. Symptoms of this late dumping include weakness, sweating, and dizziness. In addition, people often suffer from low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, because the rapid dumping of food triggers the pancreas to release excessive amounts of insulin into the bloodstream. Dumping syndrome is associated with difficulty digesting fats and carbohydrates. (Back to Top) (Index of Questions)  

Is there a special diet to follow to avoid dumping syndrome?

People who have gastric dumping syndrome should eat several small meals a day that are low in carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates. They should avoid simple sugars, and should drink liquids between meals, not with them. Fiber helps to delay gastric emptying and reduces insulin peaks. (Back to Top) (Index of Questions) 

Are there foods I won’t be able to tolerate?

The ability to tolerate foods varies from person to person.

  • Foods that are high in fat and sugars often result in dumping syndrome. These include simple carbohydrates, such as sugar found in sweets like candy, cookies and cakes. Read labels on packaged foods, and avoid foods with sugar, glucose, sucrose, fructose, dextrose, honey and corn syrup.
  • Foods and liquids that commonly cause discomfort include meat, bread, pasta, rice, raw vegetables, milk and carbonated beverages. Food textures not tolerated well include dry, sticky or stringy foods. Acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits are harder for some people to digest. If you can't chew the food thoroughly, don't swallow it. (Back to Top) (Index of Questions) 

Is it true that my bowel movements and gas will have a different smell?

Some patients have noticed a difference. This may be associated with dumping syndrome and digestion. Not everyone experiences this. (Back to Top) (Index of Questions) 

Will I have to exercise after surgery?

Light exercise, such as walking, should begin immediately after surgery. Over the next six to eight weeks, exercise should gradually increase in intensity. Exercise not only helps burn fat and calories, it can help to keep you feeling well and energized. (Back to Top) (Index of Questions)  

Do insurance companies cover Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery procedures?

Many insurance companies now recognize obesity as a substantial health risk and are paying for bariatric surgery. While gastric bypass surgeries are the most likely to be covered by insurance companies, it is important for you to contact your insurance company to determine their policies regarding bariatric surgery. (Back to Top) (Index of Questions)  

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General Bariatric Surgery Information:

McLaren Port Huron HealthAccess
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1.800.228.1484 (Michigan Callers)

Patient Contact Information:

McLaren Port Huron
Bariatric Center of Michigan
Wismer 3rd Floor Clinic
1221 Pine Grove Avenue
Port Huron, MI 48060

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