Gastric Bypass Procedures And Pictures

Submitted by: Craig Thompson

The following sections include descriptions of various bariatric surgery procedures and links to pictures of the procedures described.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Procedure

The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure involves creating a stomach pouch from the upper portion of the stomach and attaching it directly to the small intestine, bypassing a large part of the stomach and duodenum. The small upper pouch restricts the amount of food that can be eaten. Directly connecting to the mid-portion of the small intestine prevents part of the calories that are eaten from being absorbed. Together this provides a 60-80 percent loss of excessive weight over a period of two years.

Lap-Band Gastric Bypass Procedure


The lap-band procedure consists of an adjustable silicone band being placed around the stomach to create a small upper pouch that restricts the amount of food that can be eaten. The band contains a saline reservoir, which is placed just beneath the skin and allows it to be adjusted. This procedure is the least invasive and therefore the least dangerous. Patients still lose 40-50 percent of excess weight over a period of two years. Since its approval, the lap band has been steadily gaining in popularity in the United States.

Vertical Banding Procedure

Vertical Banded Gastroplasty is a non-adjustable form of banding that uses staples to decrease the size of the stomach and restrict the amount of food that can be eaten. Instead of creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach, this procedure divides the stomach length-wise and makes it smaller. This procedure does not interfere with normal digestive processes and has less potential complications than gastric bypass surgery. Since the approval of the lap-band procedure, fewer surgeons are electing to perform vertical banding on their patients and its use is steadily declining.

Duodenal Switch Procedure

Duodenal switch produces weight loss results far surpassing those of other severe obesity therapies. First, the stomach is made smaller to about one-third of its original size. Then, the intestine is divided into three pathways: two separate and a single common pathway. Food travels through the shorter pathway, directly to the large intestine, and bile from the liver is diverted to the common path of the altered digestive tract. This is one of the most invasive of all the procedures because it makes major, permanent anatomical changes to the patient’s digestive system. While this procedure is extremely effective, it carries a higher risk of complications than the others. As a result, it is rarely performed anymore.

Biliopancreatic diversion

Biliopancreatic diversion combines the removal of two-thirds of the stomach with a long intestinal bypass, which significantly reduces the absorption of fat. The patient can eat more than with any other operation and the eventual weight loss is greater. However, since most of the food is routed directly to the colon and never digested or absorbed by the body, the patient faces the risk of many severe and potentially fatal nutritional deficiencies. Consequently, even though it is an extremely effective procedure, biliopancreatic division is rarely performed today.

About the Author: Craig Thompson, better known as “Big T,” has a reputation for doing things in a mighty big way. The former sumo wrestler who used to tip the scales at 400 pounds has since reinvented himself as a singer and bandleader. As one of the earliest to have Gastric Bypass Surgery, in 1997, Thompson now helps others at


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