The laparoscopic gastric bypass has been done on hundreds of thousands of patients; its outcomes have been studied and its risks and benefits evaluated for decades. Although the sleeve gastrectomy has gained popularity since 2015, largely replacing the market share lost by gastric band, the gastric bypass is still widely accepted as the “gold standard” for weight loss surgery.  Here’s why: 

  • Studies show patients lose 60%–70% of their excess weight in the first 18 months after surgery.
  • The resolution of common comorbidities associated with obesity are resolved up to 90% of the time (hypertension, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, acid reflux, hyperlipidemia, joint pain, etc.).
  • The American Diabetes Association has now accepted gastric bypass as the recommended treatment for obese patients with type 2 diabetes. 
  • Not only is there a restrictive component (less volume of food consumed), studies show gastric bypass has the highest hormonal effect on satiety, appetite, and metabolism.
  • According to the most recent STAMPEDE trial from Cleveland Clinic, not only did gastric bypass have the most percentage of excess weight loss and greatest resolution of comorbidities, but it also scored higher on long-term patient satisfaction when compared to the gastric sleeve.
  • Gastric bypass is an extremely safe operation when compared to other commonly performed procedures. Its overall 30-day mortality is lower than laparoscopic gallbladder removal.
  • The procedure typically takes about an hour to perform laparoscopically through six small incisions, and the hospital stay is usually one night. 
  • Gastric bypass is covered by most private insurance plans, including Medicare.


These are some of the reasons why the gastric bypass is such an effective and safe treatment for morbid obesity. Having performed this operation thousands of times, I can personally attest to its power to change people’s lives. For more information on gastric bypass surgery, visit


Dr. Robert Wegner is the Medical Director at St. Francis Hospital Center for Surgical Weight Loss. If you or someone you know is suffering from morbid obesity, call 901.881.0600 for more information.