illustration depicting what a stomach looks like before and after gastric bypass surgery


Carrying excess body weight takes a toll on you, not just physically, but mentally as well. The longer you stay overweight, the higher your risk for developing life-threatening, weight-related health problems. For many, diet and exercise alone are not enough to shed the excess body fat.

Because of the increased health risks associated with obesity, bariatric surgery has become one of the safest and most effective treatment options. Gastric bypass surgery, also called Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, is one of the most commonly performed weight loss procedures in the United States and has a long track record of success. If you are considering weight loss surgery, here are a few things you should know about laparoscopic gastric bypass.

What is gastric bypass surgery? 

Gastric bypass is an inpatient procedure that typically takes 1-2 hours. During the procedure, a small stomach pouch is created to limit how much food you can eat. The next step is to attach a Y-shaped section of the small intestine directly to the new stomach pouch. By doing this, food will skip part of the digestive system, and as a result, you will absorb fewer calories and nutrients. 


Why should you consider gastric bypass surgery?


Gastric bypass surgery has been performed in the United States since 1967. Of all bariatric surgery options, it has the longest track record and has proven to be very effective in obtaining and maintaining long-term weight loss. 

For most patients, 66% of weight loss occurs within the first 6 to 8 months after surgery, allowing patients to lose weight rapidly and keep it off. Because the surgery has been performed for over 50 years, we have more long-term data to support the effectiveness. For instance, at the 10-year mark, the average gastric bypass patient has lost 70% of their excess weight and successfully kept it off. 


What is the gastric bypass procedure like?


Prior to the procedure, you will be given a general anesthetic to allow you to sleep through the surgery and prevent you from feeling any pain. Once you are asleep, your surgeon will create 6 small surgical openings on your abdomen. These openings will be used to insert a small camera and surgical instruments in order to perform the surgery.

During the procedure, your surgeon will divide your stomach and reroute your small intestine to create a small stomach pouch and new digestive route. The entire surgery typically takes 1 to 2 hours and requires a 1 night hospital stay. 


What kind of diet do you need to follow after gastric bypass surgery?


You will have to change your diet after gastric bypass surgery. It is crucial to stick to the diet plan your doctor provides in order to achieve long-term success and avoid any complications or nutritional issues. 

The gastric bypass post-op diet starts with clear liquids and allows you to slowly work up to incorporating more solid foods. While it is possible to incorporate most foods back into your diet after surgery, starchy options like rice and pasta, as well as high volumes of processed foods, should be avoided. 

Your stomach will be smaller and you will feel full quicker, so it is important to strategically plan your meals to ensure you are getting the necessary amount of nutrients. Rerouting the small intestine will also have an affect on how your body processes nutrients. As part of your new diet, you will be required to incorporate ongoing nutritional supplements and vitamins to prevent any nutritional deficiencies.


What are the benefits of gastric bypass surgery?


One of the key benefits of gastric bypass surgery is the rapid weight loss. By restricting your stomach’s ability to hold food, you will naturally eat less and feel full sooner. You can also expect lasting results. The average patient is able to lose and maintain their weight loss long-term. 

Gastric bypass patients tend to lose more weight than those who undergo gastric band or sleeve gastrectomy. Gastric bypass is regarded as one of the best operations to cure diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea in patients who are severely overweight.


What are some of the disadvantages of gastric bypass surgery?


Like any surgery, there are also a few drawbacks to consider. Gastric bypass involves a more complicated procedure than other bariatric surgeries, like gastric sleeve. Because of this, there is a chance that the staple line will leak after surgery, an increased chance of developing ulcers, and a chance of developing an internal hernia, which occurs if the intestine twists on itself. Nutritional supplements are also required for life to ensure you stay healthy and maximize the effects of the surgery. 


Is gastric bypass surgery right for you? 


Gastric bypass is a great treatment option for anyone dealing with weight-related health problems and looking to lose weight and keep it off long-term. As one of the most commonly performed bariatric surgeries in the United States, gastric bypass has a track record of effectiveness and allows patients to rapidly lose weight and regain control of their lives. With our competitive pricing options and the help of our experienced surgeon and staff, you’ll be able to lose weight and start feeling great. 



Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery is a caring group of professionals who specialize in all types of bariatric surgery.  Our surgeon Dr. Jay Long has highly specialized training in bariatric surgery, having completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he focused on taking care of patients that are morbidly obese.  And we are so proud of our pricing that we publish the costs right on the front page of our website!  Insurance won’t pay?  We have a variety of financing options we can offer you so that you are able to get the healthy body you’ve wanted for years.  Visit us today at or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-833-6907.