Laparoscopic Mini Gastric Bypass
Mini gastric bypass surgery is a short and relatively simple procedure that has been shown by the available research to have low risk and result in good short and long-term weight loss.
So why do many surgeons warn against it and why doesn’t insurance cover it?
Could Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery Be Right for You?
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
In summary, compared with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, mini gastric bypass surgery appears to be…
- A simpler procedure
- Equally as effective for morbid obesity with similar results for resolution of metabolic syndrome and improvement of quality of life
- Simpler and safer procedure with no disadvantages after 2 years of follow-up
- Better in terms of hospitalization rates following surgery
But as mentioned above…
- The large amount of intestines that is bypassed could lead to more vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
- Mini gastric bypass may lead to higher rates of bile reflux gastritis which can be painful, hard to treat and potentially increase stomach cancer risks.