Gastric Bypass

Losing weight is a process that’s different for every person, and it’s not always easy. You have unique needs, which is why we offer a variety of treatment options to help you lose weight, including laparoscopic gastric bypass.

What is laparoscopic gastric bypass?

Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a minimally invasive “keyhole” method of surgery in which the entire procedure is performed through several small cuts in the abdomen. Your surgeon creates a smaller “new” stomach which gets connected to part of the small intestine, which reduces calorie absorption. This part of the surgical procedure looks a bit like the letter “Y,” which follows the name of the surgeon Roux who first developed the technique.

Laparoscopic gastric bypass is a procedure that works by reducing food intake and reducing absorption of calories taken in. Healthy nutrition, regular exercise and vitamin supplements are an important part of the postsurgical plan for this to ensure you stay healthy and nourished.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery helps you lose weight in three significant ways:

  1. With a smaller stomach pouch, you will feel fuller after eating just a small amount of food.
  2. Because the food bypasses the remaining section of the stomach and a portion of the intestines, food absorption as well as calories are decreased. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery also lessens the body’s ability to tolerate foods that are high in sugar and fats. If you eat these kinds of foods, you may feel uncomfortable which can aid in weight loss.
  3. Like all bariatric procedures, this surgery also rebalances the hormones in your body that reduce hunger and reduce appetite. This allows continued and sustained weight loss long-term better than with medications or diet.

Who qualifies for this surgery?

You are a good candidate for laparoscopic gastric bypass if you:

  • Have a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or higher
  • Have a BMI of 35 or higher with health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or sleep apnea
  • Have had your quality of life impaired by your weight
  • Are committed to long-term follow-up care and taking prescribed vitamin supplements, as needed

Our team can help you determine if this procedure is right for you — starting with a free information session where you’ll meet bariatric surgeon Richard D. Ing, MD or Samantha Witte, MD.

It's important to remember that every weight loss journey is different, and your provider will discuss all your weight loss surgery options after taking into consideration your health history and other factors.

What to expect from laparoscopic gastric bypass

After making tiny incisions, the surgeon separates a small part of the upper stomach. The resulting pouch is about the size of a walnut and can hold only about an ounce of food (compared to an average stomach’s capacity of 3 pints).

The surgeon then attaches part of the small intestine directly to this pouch. This allows food to bypass most of your stomach and the first section of your small intestine which reduces the amount of nutrients absorbed.

After the procedure, you can expect to see rapid weight loss in the first six months. It will take several weeks for your body to fully heal and adjust to your new eating habits.

Any weight loss surgery is not an easy fix — it requires you to change your diet after the procedure, which is why we work closely with you, offering emotional and psychological support before, during and after weight loss surgery, as well as a bariatric support group you can participate in however much you wish.

Benefits and risks

With minimally invasive gastric bypass, it’s possible to lose up to 70% of your excess weight within one to two years following surgery. In addition to weight loss, this procedure can also help resolve many related health conditions, such as:

Bariatric surgery prevents future health condition such as heart disease, stroke and cancer, and it can increase your life expectancy.

Like any surgical procedure, however, there are also rare by possible risks to be aware of, including:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Hernias
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Anastomotic leaks
  • Dumping syndrome (when food moves too quickly from the stomach into the small intestine)
  • Gallstones
  • Stomach perforation
  • Ulcers


Bariatric Surgery

Weight loss solutions are available at Main Line Health. Explore your bariatric surgery options today at locations throughout the Philadelphia area.

Comprehensive Weight and Wellness

The weight loss doctors and specialists at Main Line Health in the western suburbs of Philadelphia want you to know that we can help—and we are experts in weight loss that actually works, for a lifetime. Find a weight loss doctor near me.