Merck Manual

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Bypassing Part of the Digestive Tract
Bypassing Part of the Digestive Tract
Bypassing Part of the Digestive Tract

For the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, part of the stomach is detached from the rest, creating a small pouch. The pouch is connected to a lower part of the small intestine—an arrangement that resembles a Y. As a result, parts of the stomach and small intestine are bypassed. However, digestive juices (bile acids and pancreatic enzymes) can still mix with food, enabling the body to absorb vitamins and minerals and reducing the risk of nutritional deficiencies.