The Mini Gastric Bypass: What Are The Pros And Cons?

Gastric bypass surgery, or Roux-en-Y (RNY), has been considered the gold standard in obesity treatment for several decades; however, it has some drawbacks that one doctor sought to correct. In 1977, Dr. Robert Rutledge developed the mini-gastric bypass to refine the procedure and address some of the known issues associated with standard gastric bypass surgery.

Today we will be looking at some of the pros and cons of mini bypass surgery and how this procedure compares to a traditional gastric bypass.
First, let’s look at an overview of the two surgeries to provide a basic understanding of the differences between a mini gastric bypass and a gastric bypass.

What Is Better: Gastric Bypass or Mini Gastric Bypass?

Gastric Bypass vs Mini Gastric Bypass Comparison Chart
Gastric Bypass Mini-Bypass
The stomach stays in place, but a smaller stomach pouch is created by separating it into two unequal parts using surgical staples.

The surgery reroutes the intestine so the entire duodenum is bypassed, one side stays attached to the excess stomach, and the other is attached to the new, smaller portion of the stomach and used for digestion.

Gastric bypass surgery reduces the stomach pouch to hold around two ounces of food (from 40). The gastric bypass reroutes two sections of the intestine.

Gastric bypass patients need to take supplemental vitamins for the rest of their lives to ensure they get the nutrients they need.

A new. A smaller stomach shaped like a tube is created using surgical staples.

The surgery reroutes the intestine, skipping about 20% of the small intestine (the entire duodenum section), and then loops up to attach to the smaller stomach pouch.

The mini bypass reduces the stomach’s capacity to hold four to six ounces of food instead of 40 ounces as before.

The mini bypass only moves one connection to the intestines.

Mini-bypass patients need to take supplemental vitamins for the rest of their lives to make sure they get their daily vitamins and minerals.

Average Excess Weight Loss
6 months – 55%
12 months – 72%
18 months – 78%
6 months – 57%
12 months – 71%
18 months – 76%
Number of connections to the small intestine
2 1
Surgery Time
3 hours 1.5 hours
Recovery Time
About 6 weeks 5-6 weeks

If you’re thinking about having bariatric surgery, you’ve probably heard of gastric bypass surgery and mini-gastric bypass surgery.

It was mentioned earlier that the mini gastric bypass was created to improve the gastric bypass procedure that was used at the time. It was also meant to accomplish the same goal as the gastric bypass in less time and with fewer complications. Both procedures are still performed today, and they each have their own set of pros and cons.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of mini gastric bypass surgery, as these will help us understand how it compares to a gastric bypass.

Pros And Cons Of Mini Gastric Bypass

When looking at the pros and cons of the mini gastric bypass, we will be comparing it to its “big brother,” the gastric bypass. Both of these bariatric surgeries are usually performed laparoscopically.

The Pros Of The Mini Bypass

  • Less invasive: Because there is less internal manipulation necessary with a mini gastric bypass, typically there are fewer incisions. There is a lower risk of infection with fewer incisions;
  • Surgery Time Is Shorter: A typical gastric bypass procedure normally takes between 2 and 3 hours, but a mini gastric bypass is usually completed in about 1.5 hours;
  • Less Internal Reorganization: During gastric bypass surgery, the small intestine is severed, one end is attached to the new stomach pouch, and the other end is reconnected to the upper intestine. During a mini-gastric bypass, the intestine is looped up and connected to the side of the smaller stomach pouch;
  • Offers A Shorter Recovery: There are fewer abdominal incisions made during a mini gastric bypass, and there is only one portion of the intestine that is relocated, so the recovery time is a bit shorter than that of a gastric bypass;
  • Lower risk and fewer complications: The complication rate for traditional gastric sleeve surgery is a low 7.5%, but the mini gastric sleeve is only 2.9%. Because only one section of the intestine is rerouted during a mini gastric bypass as opposed to two sections during a gastric bypass, there are fewer areas that could be infected.

The Cons Of The Mini Bypass

  • Possible Infection: While the risk of infection is lower than with gastric bypass surgery, any surgery carries the risk of infection, and patients need to be aware that there is a small risk;
  • Risk of dumping syndrome: When the patient eats fatty or sweet foods, they can move too fast through the stomach and into the intestines. This causes abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, etc. These symptoms can last for hours;
  • Elevated Risk of Experiencing Gastro-Esophageal Reflux: This can occur when stomach acids back up into the esophagus. This is not ideal for patients who already suffer from reflux disease (heartburn that requires medication);
  • Long-term complications of hernias and ulcers Hernias at the surgical site and possible ulcers can occur. Typical risks that are associated with both the mini gastric bypass and the traditional bypass are pulmonary embolisms and strictures;
  • Self-Pay: Many insurance plans do not yet cover mini-gastric bypass surgery;
  • Leaks: Both the gastric bypass and the mini gastric bypass offer risks of leaking at the staple line, but the risk is significantly lower for the mini bypass.

The pros and cons of mini gastric bypass surgery discussed above show that it may effectively replace traditional gastric bypass surgery for some patients. Comparing the mini-gastric bypass to regular gastric bypass surgery, the mini-gastric bypass takes less time to perform, is technically easier, and has a lower risk of complications.

If you would like to learn more about mini gastric sleeve surgery or other options for weight loss, contact IBI Healthcare Institute today. A quick consultation with one of our highly skilled professionals can help you get all your questions answered and provide you with a wide variety of weight loss options.

Regardless of the option you choose, our team of professionals will be here to help guide and support you through your entire weight loss journey. We will begin by identifying any underlying issues that have prevented you from losing weight in the past and then create an individualized plan tailored to address these and your unique circumstances.

Your hard work, one of our many weight loss tools, and a comprehensive support system will help you reach your weight loss goals. Contact us today!

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