Gastric bypass is a type of weight loss surgery. It is usually only for people who have tried other methods of weight loss and they have not worked. It works by making the stomach smaller and shortening the length of the small intestine. This allows food to bypass certain areas. It also means that you eat less and that food that is eaten is not fully digested and absorbed.
The operation usually takes between one and three hours and is performed using laparoscopic or open surgery. During laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon will make small incisions in the abdomen and a thin tube with a camera, called a laparoscope, is inserted. The surgeon will then separate the upper and lower part of the stomach, creating pouch at the top of the stomach with a new opening. This will be connected to a part of the small intestine; therefore food will bypass the old stomach and first part of the intestine.