We've explained some of the common bariatric surgery options, however, another procedure some people may have heard of is a mini gastric bypass.
The mini gastric bypass has also been referred to as a single-anastomosis gastric bypass. The mini gastric bypass and regular gastric bypass may share the same name, but they have many differences.
In this guide, we share the details of mini gastric bypass surgery, including complication rates and differences from a regular gastric bypass procedure.
First, Some History
Gastric bypass is a complicated surgery to perform. There are anatomical changes to the gastrointestinal tract that include stapling and rearrangement.
Even an experienced surgeon is at risk of running into complications because of how delicate the operation is. Fortunately, technology has transformed over time to increase safety of this procedure.
Due to the complexity of gastric bypass surgery, Dr. Robert Rutledge developed the mini gastric bypass in 1997 in order to minimize complication rates and difficulty.
This procedure can reduce operating times and complication rates while still producing similar weight loss results as the regular gastric bypass procedure.
What’s the Procedure Like?
Mini gastric bypass is a laparoscopic operation, meaning that the surgeon operates by only making a few small incisions where medical tools can be inserted.
Using the tools, the surgeon staples the top of your stomach to form a narrow tube (in a regular gastric bypass a smaller pouch would be created). This tube is separated from the rest of the stomach and becomes your new, smaller stomach.
The surgeon then connects the new stomach tube to the jejunum of your small intestine, skipping the first portion of the small intestine called the duodenum.
The mini gastric bypass combines sleeve gastrectomy and regular gastric bypass techniques. Similar to gastric bypass, a mini gastric bypass causes restriction and malabsorption of nutrients.
The operation restricts how much food you can eat because your new stomach has less room. This will cause you to become satiated quicker with a smaller amount of food consumed.
With the rearrangement of the gastrointestinal tract, food bypasses most of the stomach and a large portion of the small intestine. This results in fewer calories and nutrients being absorbed by the body. In turn, weight loss is seen.
When compared to regular gastric bypass surgery, the mini bypass can reduce operating times by 50 minutes. This would mean that the entire operation can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. This is great timing when compared to the duration of gastric bypass!
Lifestyle After a Mini Gastric Bypass
Bariatric surgery is a major medical endeavor that's bound to change your lifestyle completely. You will definitely need to re-adjust your diet, but finances and social life can also be impacted.
Let’s look at the most prominent ways your lifestyle could change after a mini gastric bypass.
Short-Term Recovery, Exercise, and Diet
Any kind of pain after a mini gastric bypass is similar to a regular bypass. In order to monitor any pain and complications, you will typically stay in the hospital for a day or two after surgery.
You will be encouraged to do some mild exercise for a few days after the surgery. Do not start any kind of exercise regimen without doctor clearance. A short walk would be a great start.
Additionally, you will follow a strict diet in order for the body to adapt to the changes. The diet phases you may experience are full liquids to soft foods, progressing to a regular diet over time. Staying hydrated is also going to be a focus, as well as bariatric specific supplements.
Over time, your diet will expand. However, you will want to adhere to a healthy, balanced diet for life. For example, you will include fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains. You will want to avoid high sugar, "junk" food, and processed foods. Your stomach will restrict you from consuming a lot of foods after surgery, so you will want to consume nutrient-dense options to get the most out of your meals.
Long-Term Results and Complications
According to research, the average person loses 75% to 80% excess body weight by the first year. There are also excellent results even 2 years after surgery. Studies have shown loss of 77% excess body weight at the 2 year mark.
If there are concerns with weight loss or any complications, this procedure can be revised. When individuals do not meet desired weight loss goals, sometimes a revision surgery is recommended. There are bariatric surgery benefits for the mini gastric bypass like improvement or even remission of type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea.
Fortunately, after weight loss surgery, the stomach will never be able to reach it's pre-bariatric surgery size. The stomach does stretch to accommodate the food you consume, however, it is not possible to stretch back to pre-surgery size. This doesn't mean you can eat whatever you want, it is still very possible to gain weight back with excess food consumption.
Regaining weight after bariatric surgery can be scary, however, your health is in your hands. You can restart weight loss by getting back to the basics of portion control, healthy habits, and exercise.
It is your job to put in the effort to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise, as well as life-long supplementation in order to avoid common deficiencies.
The Infamous Bile Reflux
Bile reflux can happen in individuals with a history of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that is highly associated with obesity. Generally, with weight loss, symptoms of GERD can clear up. However, there are scenarios where surgery may cause symptoms to worsen.
Sometimes, stomach acids travel up the esophagus, causing heartburn. This would be considered gastric reflux.
In other cases, bile that is produced by the pancreas and liver can enter the stomach and esophagus causing bile reflux. Sometimes, mini gastric bypass patients can experience this issue.
Some suggestions for managing this condition are lifestyle modifications, avoid smoking, and avoiding eating right before bed.
It is always important to seek medical help in these situations to decipher what action should be taken. There are many medications and operations that may be suggested to limit bile reflux.
For quick reference, we’ve listed the pros and cons compared to a standard gastric bypass below.
- Shorter operation time
- Decreased surgical complication
- Similar weight loss and recovery time
- Risk of acid reflux
- Insurance may not recognize this as a bariatric procedure
**This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition.