Robotic Gastric Bypass Surgery

Weight Loss: Treatment Options

If your doctor recommends surgery to control your weight, you may be a candidate for Robotic Gastric Bypass, potentially the most effective and least invasive option for weight loss surgery. Robotic Gastric Bypass allows your physician to provide the gold standard surgical treatment for weight loss, using only a few small incisions.

Robotic Gastric Bypass provides your surgeon numerous technical advantages — including improved ergonomics, better visualization and instrumentation. These advantages may allow him or her to provide you a minimally invasive surgery even if you are extremely obese. Robotic-assisted laparoscopy has also proven to shorten procedures time and significantly reduce the risk of serious complications when compared to conventional laparoscopy.

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. While Robotic Gastric Bypass is considered safe and effective, it may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.

Robotic Gastric Bypass – similar to traditional gastric bypass surgery – uses two techniques to help produce long-term weight loss. It is “restrictive” in that it makes your stomach smaller, limiting the amount of food you need to feel full. It is also “malabsorptive,” because it bypasses a major portion of your small intestine where calories are absorbed. Combined, these techniques help lead to weight loss.

The Procedure

First, the stomach is reduced in size by using surgical staples. This new smaller stomach (or pouch) is only able to hold a few ounces of food at one time. Next, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch, allowing food to bypass the lower stomach. Bypassing the two segments of the small intestine, known as the duodenum and part of the jejunum, allows the body to reduce the amount of calories and nutrients it absorbs.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery is considered the "gold standard" of weight loss surgery. In fact, it’s the most commonly performed bypass surgery in the U.S. Its superior long-term results, minimal and controllable side effects, and resolution or elimination of co-morbidities have made it the choice for many patients. In most cases, we recommend a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) procedure, using a tiny telescope-like camera that’s inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to guide the surgeon. The laparoscopic method is commonly used today, because it offers many advantages, such as less scarring, less pain and lower risk for wound infections and hernias.

A Lifelong Commitment

With Robotic Gastric Bypass, you will be required to make a lifelong commitment to changing your diet. You will no longer be able to engage in your usual eating habits, since the reduced size of your stomach pouch will only have enough capacity to hold a few ounces of food at one time. Making good food choices will also be critical to your success.

Because of the malabsorptive aspect of the procedure, you’ll need to be sure to consume adequate amounts of proteins. Strict adherence to vitamin supplements will also be necessary. And you will need to avoid sweets and fatty foods as much as possible. The dietitians and pharmacist on our weight loss team can work with you to put together a program that will help you meet your goals.

Before you decide whether Robotic Gastric Bypass is your best option, you should consider both its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  • A reasonably low mortality rate (0.2% to 1%).
  • Excellent weight loss results
  • Improved health overall
  • Resolution or elimination of co-morbidities
    (e.g., type II diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension and more)
  • A smaller incision compared to traditional bypass surgery
  • Less pain due to smaller incisions
  • Less blood loss
  • Less scarring
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • A faster return to normal activities

Disadvantages

  • Disruption of the staple line can lead to leakage or serious infection
  • Possible malnutrition or anemia
  • Possible obstruction of the GI tract
  • Risk of a hernia
  • Risk of chronic vomiting and diarrhea, or dumping syndrome
  • Other post-surgical complications

If you have questions, talk with your doctor, contact our Weight Loss Program Coordinator, or sign up for one of our free Weight Loss Surgery seminars.