Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery

The Mini Gastric Bypass procedure is often touted as the most effective Bariatric Surgery Procedure, combining the benefits of different weight loss surgery techniques, and removing some of the drawbacks

The Mini Gastric Bypass was originally used in the 1960’s, before being abandoned in favour of Roux en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery.

However modern surgical techniques have lead to the Mini Gastric Bypass being rediscovered as a simpler, faster Bariatric Surgery technique.

The procedure’s comparative simplicity is claimed by its proponents to make complications less likely.

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How is the Mini Gastric Bypass Different from Traditional Roux En-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Roux En-Y Gastric Bypass and Mini Gastric Bypass surgery work on the same principles of restricting the possible food intake of the patient, and reducing the ability of the stomach to absorb that food.

The key difference between the two bypass techniques is given away in the Mini Gastric Bypass’s other name, the Loop Gastric Bypass.

Instead of the Y-construction used in the Roux en-Y technique, the Mini Gastric Bypass uses a simpler loop configuration to bypass part of the stomach and reduce food absorption.

What Are the Benefits of Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery?

The chief benefits of the Mini Gastric Bypass procedure are that it is simpler and quicker to perform, so, theoretically at least, complications are less likely to arise.

Weight loss surgeries are generally performed laparoscopically (keyhole surgery), so the surgeon can only see what he is doing on a monitor, and therefore in two dimensions, without the benefit of the sense of touch. Performing surgery in this way reduces scarring, the risk of hernia at the incision sites, and also has the benefit of a shorter hospital stay and recovery time for the patient, but the reduced access for the surgeon does mean that there is a definite benefit to simplifying the procedure.

The procedure can generally be completed in 30 minutes, and the patient can often be released from hospital after just 24 hours.

Another very real benefit of the Mini Gastric Bypass procedure is that, in common with Gastric Balloon and Gastric Band surgery, it is reversible and revisable, should the need arise.

What Risks Are There?

Gastric dumping, which can include diarrhoea is relatively common, and leaks or hernias where incisions were made are a risk. Also, as with any surgery, infections can be a danger. Risks are also higher if the patent has open as opposed to Laparoscopic surgery.

Naturally, you must discuss the risks with your surgeon.

However, research has found that the benefits outweighs the risks for dangerously obese people, with the mortality rate from related diseases lowered, and improved blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetic control.

What Disadvantages are Specific to the Mini Gastric Bypass Procedure?

The original disadvantage that was found with the Mini Gastric Bypass was that it frequently caused reflux, where digestive juices entered the esophagus, causing severe inflammation, and when leakage occurred into the abdomen, the results could be especially severe, causing extremely painful ulceration.

It was this problem that lead to it being abandoned as a surgical technique, with the recognition that the risk was not justified by the advantages.

Reflux is generally not a problem with modern techniques, as the loop is placed lower in the stomach, but the patient should be aware that if this complication arises it is very painful, and also very difficult for the surgeon to deal with.

Am I a Good Candidate?

A pre requirement before being considered for surgery is that the patient will be classified morbidly obese, which is defined as having a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or more. Patients with a BMI of 35 or more may be considered if there are other health issues, such as diabetes, making the need for weight-loss particularly urgent.

Generally a candidate will have tried without success to lose weight by non-surgical methods, before being considered for Bariatric surgery. Most Weight Loss Surgeons will insist on a psychological evaluation of their prospective patient, prior to arranging surgery.

How Much Weight Can I Lose?

Weight loss results are equivalent to the results for Roux en-Y patients. Patients are generally able to lose up to 60% of their weight. Up to 40 kg can often be lost within the first 36 months.

The patient should be aware that their results will be dependent on how they change their behavior as regards food. While weight loss surgery reduces the stomach and its ability to absorb food, some patients do not achieve their weight loss goals. When this is the case, it often turns out to be not a problem with the procedure. Instead, it often transpires that the patient is snacking between meals on high-calorie foods.

The key to successful weight loss results remains to change destructive eating habits. It is possible to “cheat” your bypass, and people do, although why remains hard to understand.

Which is Better? Roux En-Y Gastric Bypass or Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Which is better of the two methods has been vigorously debated, and both techniques have strong supporters.

The trend at the moment does appear to be moving in favor of the Mini Gastric Bypass, with a great many clinics in Europe almost exclusively offering the Mini Gastric Bypass.

The advantages of shorter operating time, shorter hospitalization, and a faster recovery time are beneficial to both the patient and the clinic.

The benefits of a lower rate of complications, as evidenced by recent studies, have meant that the probability of the surgeon having to resort to open surgery is lower.

As the majority of problems such as infections, hernias and other problems are caused by the open surgery technique, it does seem likely that the Mini Gastric Bypass procedures benefits make it a better option for patient and surgeon, alike.

What is the Average Cost of Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery?

US patients can expect to pay around $42,000. An average price is around £23,000 in the UK, or $37,000.

The costs do, however, vary enormously around the world, and many patients choose to travel abroad for this procedure, saving up to 80% of the cost in countries such as India, Thailand and Malaysia. In Europe, Belgium, Poland and Germany all offer more affordable prices, while for Americans, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama are all good options for reducing the cost of Bariatric surgery.

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