The gastric bypass is an operation in which the surgeon cuts off the upper portion of the stomach and creates that as your new stomach pouch. A patient’s stomach goes from the size of a football to the size of a large egg. The small intestine is then brought up and connected
the stomach pouch. Food can go into the stomach pouch and directly into the small intestine, bypassing the old stomach and part of the small intestine.
People lose weight for multiple reasons with the gastric bypass:
(1) They have a smaller stomach so they can’t eat very much food.
(2) Patients absorb a little bit less food than they normally would because part of the stomach and small intestine is “bypassed.”
(3) When food goes directly into the small intestine, patients generally cannot tolerate eating sweets like ice cream or cake in any large quantity. If they do, they experience something called Dumping Syndrome, with symptoms that include stomach ache, diarrhea, cold sweats, and racing heartbeat. This is very uncomfortable, but it’s quite effective in keeping patients from eating sweets.