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Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery

RGB weight-loss surgery at the Methodist Weight Management Program

What is Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RGB) surgery?

  • Gastric bypass is one of the most frequently performed procedures in the U.S. for morbidly obese patients.
  • Current gold standard for weight loss-surgery, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the National Institutes of Health.
  • Creates a new path for food to travel in the digestive system, which reduces the amount of nutrients the body can absorb from food.

How Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery works:

  • Alters the normal digestive process two ways.
  • The surgeon reduces the size of the stomach to a small pouch, so it takes less food to feel full and satisfied.
  • The small pouch is then attached to a lower section of the small intestines thus bypassing the remaining stomach and first part of the intestines where many fat and sugar calories are absorbed.

Advantages of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery

  • In general, people lose more weight after the Roux-en-Y procedure than with surgery that only reduces stomach size.
  • One year after surgery, people lose an average of 77 percent of their excess body weight.
  • Studies show that after 10 to 14 years, some people have maintained 50 to 60 percent of their weight loss.
  • Studies show that that obesity-related conditions such as back pain, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression improved or went away in 96 percent of patients after Roux-en-Y surgery.

Risks associated with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery

  • Because the upper part of the small intestine (duodenum) is bypassed, absorption of iron or calcium from food is reduced. This puts people at risk for iron-deficiency anemia. Lack of iron and calcium can also cause bone disease, resulting in pain, loss of height, humped back, and fractures of the ribs and hipbones. Avoiding these problems requires strict attention to diet and vitamin supplements.
  • Vitamin B12 pills or injections are often needed to avoid chronic anemia.
  • "Dumping syndrome" triggered by sugary or fatty foods is more likely to occur because the food in the stomach moves into the small intestine quickly. Symptoms include nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, and diarrhea.
  • The effectiveness of the procedure may be reduced if the stomach pouch is stretched or left larger than 15cc - 30cc (almost two cubic inches).
  • The bypassed sections of the stomach and small intestine don't show up well on x-rays and some other imaging tests. This can make it more difficult to diagnose ulcers, bleeding, or cancer, if they occur.

Contact the Methodist Weight Management Program

Take the first step toward better health today. Contact the Methodist Weight Management Program at (214) 947-0004, toll-free (866) 500-1852, or e-mail

Schedule a consultation with an independently practicing physician at the Methodist Weight Management Program.