Gastric Bypass

After the surgery, your stomach will be smaller. You will feel full with less food.

The food you eat will no longer go into some parts of your stomach and small intestine that absorb food. Because of this, your body will not get all of the calories from the food you eat.

Weight-loss surgery may be an option if you are very obese and have not been able to lose weight through diet and exercise.

Doctors often use the body mass index (BMI) and health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from weight-loss surgery.

Gastric bypass surgery is not a quick fix for obesity. It will greatly change your lifestyle. After this surgery, you must eat healthy foods, control portion sizes of what you eat, and exercise. If you do not follow these measures, you may have complications from the surgery and poor weight loss.

This procedure may be recommended if you have

  • A BMI of 40 or more. Someone with a BMI of 40 or more is at least 100 pounds over their recommended weight. A normal BMI is between 18.5 to 25.
  • A BMI of 35 or more and a serious medical condition that might improve with weight loss. Some of these conditions are obstructive sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.


During Bypass

During this procedure, a small pouch is created using the upper portion of the stomach. This pouch (your new stomach) is then attached to a portion of your small intestines. Therefore, after surgery, the food you swallow will bypass the lower portion of the stomach but will still mix with the digestive juices from both your stomach and small intestine. This rerouting results in metabolic changes that help drive weight loss.

After Bypass

After surgery, you will be required to follow a strict diet and significant lifestyle changes.

For approximately 4 weeks, you will need to eat foods in a liquid or pureed state.  Eating solid foods too soon will put pressure on the staple line and may cause serious complications such as a leak.  It is important that, during this time, all the food you eat be the consistency of thin, smooth, applesauce. During this time you will need to eat 5-6 times a day. Each meal will be 2-4 oz (1/4 to ½ cup of food).

With your doctor’s approval at 4 weeks after surgery, you may advance to semi-solid, or soft foods. You will need to eat 4-6 times a day. Each meal will be 4-6 ounces (½ - ¾ cup of food).  Care should be taken not to snack or graze between these meals.

Around 12 weeks after surgery, with your doctor’s approval, you may begin to try raw vegetables and tougher meats. You will need to try foods one item at a time to test your tolerance to them.  Do not worry if you cannot handle foods you used to eat.  Most people experience some problems at first, especially with dry meats and breads.  However, these problems usually resolve with behavioral modifications and more time. Eventually all textures of foods are well tolerated. 

Read About Post Op Diet Phases