Is a Roux-en-y (roux en y) Procedure Your Obesity Solution?

The roux en y procedure, often referred to as the gastric bypass, has been the solution for many obese patients around the world. Knowing whether it’s right for you individually is a decision best made between patient and doctor. However, knowing a bit of information about the rny procedure is always helpful when trying to make an informed decision. If your struggle to lose weight has found you here, read on for critical information.

The Procedure, in Brief

The roux-en-y procedure promotes weight-loss by surgical alteration of the anatomy. The stomach is used to create a smaller pouch, which is then connected directly to the small intestine. When food enters the gastric system, it will miss most of the stomach and the initial portion of the small intestine. Patients will be able to eat less, and the food will have less time to absorb into the body.

The procedure known as the roux en y , by definition, is “a treatment for morbid obesity consisting of surgical division of the small intestine to form two arms.”

Alternatives to the Procedure

For those hesitant to undergo a permanent anatomical transformation like that the roux en y bypass will create, a gastric bypass alternative is available. Known as the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG), this procedure involves placing sutures within the stomach, limiting the amount that can be consumed. The sutures can later be removed, and the recovery and potential side effects are less severe.

Motivations for Gastric Bypass

The roux-en-y, or gastric bypass surgery, is regularly performed in the US. When obese patients can’t lose weight regardless of diet and exercise interventions and health problems are complicating their lives, a roux and y surgery can be the solution. Some of the medical conditions these patients experience might include high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, GERD, heart disease, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, stroke, and infertility.

Qualifying Factors

To qualify for the roux en y procedure, patients will need to meet specific criteria.

Qualifying patients will meet one of the following categories:

  • Having a BMI, or Body Mass Index of 40 or more
  • Having a BMI of 35-39.9 with a corresponding weight-related medical condition
  • Having a BMI of 30-34 with severe medical conditions attached

These qualifications are the bare minimum. An extensive medical examination, nutritional training, psychological examination, and other precautionary steps will be taken to verify that you’re a good candidate for a laparoscopic roux-en-y gastric bypass.

Preparatory Processes

In anticipation of having a roux-en-y procedure, you’ll need to complete several steps.

Your medical team should be made aware of all your medications, vitamins, and supplements, and they, in turn, will provide direction on what to take, what to eat, and when to do so.

Of particular concern are patients who take blood thinners or insulin or who smoke.

In the days leading up to your gastric bypass (roux-en-y), your doctor will request that you lose some weight to minimize danger during the operation and demonstrate that you’re willing to commit yourself to a new perspective on eating.

Expectations for the Procedure

On the day of your roux-en-y gastrojejunostomy, you’ll prepare for surgery as you would any other. You shouldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight of the night prior to the procedure. The medical team will question you about medications and other preparatory processes before the anesthesiologist puts you under for the surgery.

The majority of gastric bypasses performed in the US are lap roux en y procedures. When completed laparoscopically, the recovery time is shorter and less painful. The surgeon will create a small pouch of your stomach and then connect it to the small intestine. The resulting pouch will hold about an ounce of food as opposed to the three pints that it could formerly accommodate.

A laparoscopic roux en y will require a few hours, and then you’ll spend some time in the recovery room to ensure that you have no complicating events. Your hospital stay will last anywhere from 3 to 5 days.

After the roux en y procedure, steps that follow should involve a focus on food, vitamins, and exercise.

The post op diet should consist solely of liquids, gradually transitioning to thicker liquids, pureed foods, softer foods, and then regular foods. This process will take time, and the patient should eat small meals, slowly and chewing thoroughly.

A vitamin regimen will become an expected part of your daily life. In addition to protein supplementation, you should take multivitamins, calcium, vitamin B-12, and vitamin D on a daily basis. You might need more supplements depending on your lab work, which you should have done regularly.

Expectations After the Procedure

The expected roux-en-y gastric bypass side effects can be unpleasant and disconcerting if you don’t expect them. As you lose weight so quickly, you might experience dry skin, thinning hair and hair loss, body aches, fatigue, mood changes, and a cold feeling.

Adverse Health Risks

All abdominal surgeries could have complicating events. The patient might have excessive bleeding, anesthesia complications, blood clotting, infection, respiratory complications, or leaks in the GI tract. Long term complications could include hypoglycemia, hernias, bowel obstruction, gallstones, dumping syndrome, malnutrition, vomiting, and ulcers.

Expected Results from the Procedure

The results you can expect largely depends on the effort you put into working out and eating according to your bariatric plan. In two years, you should be able to lose up to 60 percent of your excess weight. As you lose weight, many of your weight-related health conditions may reverse themselves.

In addition to regaining health, you’ll also have increased mobility and confidence. Everything from your quality of sleep to your relationships stand to improve.

If the procedure doesn’t result in weight loss, you should take a close look at your eating and exercise habits. Failing to restrict calories and food or avoiding exercise will prevent weight loss.

Should you feel that you’re doing all you should and you’re not losing weight or if you have complications, see your doctor as soon as possible. You should also make sure to keep your appointments for follow up treatment, especially regular blood work. Your commitment to taking care of yourself must be lifelong if you choose to have a roux en y surgery.