, Volume 18, Issue 10, pp 1246-1250
Date: 25 Jun 2008

Gastric Bypass Surgery in Rats Produces Weight Loss Modeling after Human Gastric Bypass

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The study of the mechanisms of weight loss after bariatric surgery requires an animal model that mimics the human procedure and subsequent weight loss. A rat model eliminates the cognitive efforts associated with human weight loss and gain.


A technique for gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass [RYGB]) was developed in Sprague–Dawley rats. A 1- to 2-cc pouch is created from the uppermost stomach using a linear stapler. A 10-cm biliopancreatic limb and 15-cm Roux limb are anastomosed side to side with running nonabsorbable suture. The gastrojejunostomy is created with a single layer of running nonabsorbable suture. Four rats underwent RYGB. Weight loss was compared to four sham rats that had a midline incision and left 60 min with an open abdomen before closure.


RYGB rats lost an average of 16.5% body weight (BW) at 1 week, 22% BW at 2 weeks, 20% BW at 3 weeks, and 11% BW at 4 weeks. The RYGB rat’s weight was basically level after 4 weeks. The shams lost an average of 4% BW at 1 week, 1% BW at 2 weeks, and 0% BW at 3 weeks and gained an average of 2% at weeks. Subjectively, the RYGB rats were less interested in chow and frequently had chow left in their cage.


A Sprague–Dawley rat model for gastric bypass has been developed and yields approximately 11% BW loss. This will allow investigators to objectively view factors associated with weight loss without the confounding cognitive factors in humans.

Presented at the 24th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery; June 16, 2007; San Diego, CA.