Gastric Bypass is major abdominal surgery. In the average patient the surgery takes 90 minutes to 2 hours. Most patients are in the hospital 2-3 days. The surgery involves the baratric doctor reducing the size of the stomach from 32 ounces to about 2 ounces.

In addition the intestines are then re-routed, which will decrease the absorption of food, and finally re-attached to the new, smaller stomach. The surgery therefore has 2 components it is “restrictive” because it reduces the size of the stomach. Also it is “malabsorptive” which means it will cause less efficient absorption of nutrients. For both of these reasons, the weight loss after gastric bypass tends to be more rapid then after gastric banding also gastric bypass patients on average will tend to lose more of their excess weight than band patients.

This malabsorption means that post operative nutritional follow up is absolutely critical for all patients undergoing Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. The malabsorptive part of the surgery can lead to something called “dumping syndrome”. While this is not considered to be medically dangerous it can be extremely unpleasant. It is usually caused by eating sugary foods or drinks and can lead to cramping, nausea/vomiting, and diarrhea. It will generally resolve itself after 1-3 hours. While the symptoms of dumping syndrome are very unpleasant you should note that it is caused by eating sugary foods which you should avoid anyway if you are trying to lose weight. In that sense the surgery can keep you “honest” and eating the proper foods.

Advantages of Gastric Bypass

  • “Permanent” solution
  • Both restrictive and malabsorptive
  • More rapid weight loss
  • Studies show greater percentage of excess body weight lost (80-90 percent)
  • Greater percentage of weight kept off with long term follow-up (5-10 years)


  • Greater risk of vitamin and nutritional deficiencies if not properly managed with your surgeon
  • Risk of “dumping syndrome” – not pleasant if you eat wrong foods – no health risk to d.s.
  • 1-2 day hospital stay
  • Not easily reversed
  • Increased chance of ulcers especially in smokers; if taking aspirin and/or anti-inflammatory drugs

If you are looking for a gastric bypass doctor in New Jersey, New York, or the surround area Dr. Michael Bilof & Dr. Basil Yurcisin can help.  Call (973) 218-1990 or use our contact form for more information

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