The upper portion of the stomach where food first enters is stapled and separated from the remainder of the stomach. This stomach “pouch” holds about one to one-and-a-half ounces, limiting food intake by causing a feeling of restriction or fullness with a small amount of food. The small intestine is re-routed to accept food directly from this small stomach pouch. The remaining stomach, duodenum and the initial part of the jejunum stays in place and continues to make digestive juices, but are “bypassed”. The new anatomy helps with a feeling of decreased hunger, improved fullness, and improved blood sugar regulation. The re-routed intestine also helps some patients make better food choices, because high-calorie foods (such as cookies, cake, candy, sweets, soda, or high-fat foods) may cause a very unpleasant sensation after eating them.
- This procedure results in high weight loss totals. Estimated excess body weight loss at one year after surgery is 70 to 85 percent.
- Patients are required to take life-long nutritional supplements to prevent any nutrient deficiencies, and there may be additional supplement required, above the usual multivitamin and calcium (such as vitamin B12 supplements)
- This procedure is not easily reversible.