MINI-GASTRIC BYPASS – THE GOOD, BAD, AND UGLY
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 has gained popularity in recent years. The mini-gastric bypass was originally developed by Dr. Robert Rutledge in 1997. The mini-gastric bypass is quicker, technically easier and carries a lower complication rate compared to traditional gastric bypass surgery, 2.9% (2012 MGB study).
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.
WHY WAS THE MINI-GASTRIC BYPASS CREATED?
The mini-gastric bypass was developed to reduce operating time, simplify the procedure and reduce complications. Recent studies show that it does reduce operating time, may lead to similar weight loss (some studies show that mini-gastric bypass may actually produce more weight loss), and reduce overall complication rates compared to gastric bypass surgery (Gastric Bypass Compared to Mini-Gastric Bypass).
WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE CHOOSE MINI-GASTRIC BYPASS?
Mini-gastric bypass is currently not covered by most insurance carriers. And there are not enough surgeons trained on this procedure. While more data is showing up that supports the claims that mini-gastric bypass surgery is equal to or slightly better than gastric bypass surgery, there is still not enough data to warrant insurance coverage and mass adoption.
Mini-gastric bypass is a quicker operation compared to traditional laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. Operating times are reduced, on average by 50 minutes (Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Versus Mini-Gastric Bypass for the Treatment of Morbid Obesity).