In the Gastric Bypass or Roux en Y procedure, which is what I had done, they take a small, thumb sized portion on the top of the stomach and separate it from the rest of the stomach and make a thumb-sized pouch. They leave the rest of the stomach intact and then they clip the small intestine further down and attach the lower part of the small intestine to the pouch and attach the upper portion to the lower portion a ways down.
What this does is allow the stomach acids to still drain from the stomach into the small intestine to assist with breakdown of foods, and keeps the liver and bile duct still attached appropriately.
The pouch is now the new “stomach” and when the patient eats, the food goes into the pouch and the nutrients get absorbed as the food is beginning to break down. It then goes down the small intestine to the “Y” where it meets up with the stomach acid and continues the rest of the way in the small intestine as it breaks down further, later meeting the large intestine and continuing down and out.
One of the benefits of the Gastric Bypass surgery over the other possible surgeries (Sleeve, Lap band, Duodenal Switch, etc.) is that most patients no longer have acid reflux issues because the stomach acid would have to travel out of the stomach, down the small intestine to the “Y” and back up to the pouch and up the esophagus.
Another benefit of the Gastric Bypass is that it is actually reversible since the stomach still remains intact in the body (just in two sections now) and nothing is cut out or removed. Reversing the surgery is only done in extreme situations when a person is having a major reaction to the changes.
I know that I have had some issues after having the Gastric Bypass, (pacemaker, strictures, vision issues, etc.) but I can tell you that I do not regret having the surgery. I feel that it has prolonged my life and we are just dealing with the complications as they come up. I fully expect that I will be scheduled this week for another stricture fix, but I am okay with that.
Life is all about taking on what comes your way, and that is what I am doing.