The mini-gastric bypass procedure has gained popularity in recent years. The mini-gastric bypass was originally developed by Dr. Robert Rutledge in 1997. While traditional gastric bypass surgery results in excellent weight loss, the procedure is technically challenging and carries a 7% complication risk.
The risk of mortality (death) is very low, about 0.5% according to most studies. The mini-gastric bypass procedure is restrictive and malabsorptive. This means that the procedure reduces the size of your stomach, restricting the amount you can eat. The procedure also reduces absorption of food by bypassing up to 6 feet of intestines. Gastric bypass and the mini-gastric bypass are both malabsorptive and restrictive procedures. Gastric sleeve and the Lap Band are restrictive procedures.
As the name suggests, mini gastric bypass surgery is a simplified form of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RNY). A thorough review of the studies that specifically evaluated the effectiveness of MGBP shows that the procedure is shorter, easier, less expensive and has lower risk and equally successful outcomes as RNY.
Even though MGBP sounds like an obvious choice between the two procedures, there are a few signifigant reasons why this might not always be the case…
- Mini gastric bypass usually bypasses much more of the intestine than a standard gastric bypass which could lead to more vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
- Unlike gastric bypass surgery, digestive enzymes and bile are not diverted away from the stomach after mini gastric bypass. This can lead to bile reflux gastritis which can cause pain that is difficult to treat. Bile reflux gastritis may also increase the risk of cancer in the stomach pouch.
- Most insurance companies don’t cover MGBP surgery costs as they still consider it an experimental procedure.
- Because of the reasons above, experienced surgeons are less likely to offer mini gastric bypass than gastric bypass. This will make it more difficult for you to find a local qualified surgeon willing to perform the procedure.
- More long-term research is needed to solidify mini gastric bypass surgery’s position as a viable bariatric surgery option.