For many patients interested in mini gastric bypass surgery, a pros and cons list can be invaluable when deciding how to proceed in their weight loss journey. To help patients make a fully informed decision, we’ve put together the following guide.
Read on to learn what you should know when considering mini gastric bypass surgery.
What Is a Mini Gastric Bypass?
Mini gastric bypass (MGB) is a two-part bariatric weight loss procedure that is performed laparoscopically. It reduces the size of the stomach by 75% to 80% and bypasses the top third of the small intestine via a newly created surgical connection.
The surgeon creates a gastric pouch (around 25% of the stomach’s total capacity) and then reroutes it to the lower two-thirds of the small intestine, resulting in the patient feeling full more quickly and absorbing fewer calories.
Hailed as the modern, superior alternative to traditional gastric bypass surgery, MGB has several advantages over its predecessor, including:
- A less invasive, “closed” laparoscopic surgery
- Smaller, more discreet surgical scars
- A shorter operation (usually 60-90 minutes)
- Less time in the hospital (an overnight stay vs. up to 3 days)
- A faster recovery period
- Less pain and post-operative downtime
- Reduced risk of complications (infection, hernia, leakage, bleeding, etc.)
How does MGB compare to recently popular semaglutide-based medications? Mini gastric bypass patients typically lose 60% to 75% of their excess weight in the year following their surgery, while patients taking weight loss drugs only lose 15% to 22% on average.
The extent of the weight loss isn’t the only point in favour of mini gastric bypass. Other pros of choosing surgery over semaglutide treatments include:
MGB is a one-time procedure that is usually completed within an hour. The initial recovery period takes 10 days on average, though most patients need to wait a month before returning to their regular routines without any restrictions.
Semaglutide injections (such as Ozempic and Wegovy) are administered weekly and are an ongoing commitment with no firm end date.
Post-Intervention Weight Gain
While mini gastric bypass patients may find that consistent overeating will stretch their stomachs and lead to some weight being regained, there are ways to prevent this (as detailed in our related blog post).
Furthermore, all SmartShape™ bariatric surgery patients have access to our 5-year AfterCare Program, which provides ongoing support, education, and access to medical health professionals. We are deeply committed to helping patients succeed in a healthy, sustainable way.
On the flip side, patients who take a weight loss drug often find that their improvements are quickly lost after stopping treatment.
This so-called “Ozempic Rebound” was observed in a 2022 study that found that patients regained nearly 67% of their weight in the year following their last semaglutide injection. As a result, most patients may feel that they need to stay on the drug indefinitely to avoid the bingeing and rapid weight gain that accompanies withdrawal.
Mini gastric bypass surgery has a higher upfront cost than semaglutide injections, but it is a considerably more affordable option in the long run.
Treatments like Ozempic and Wegovy can cost patients around $1,000 each month. The ongoing expense can be financially prohibitive for patients, but the emotional and physical cost of regaining the weight may make it difficult to end the injection regimen. Even the pill form of semaglutide (Rybelsus) can cost upwards of $800 a month without insurance.
Although mini gastric bypass surgery has tremendous benefits for patients, it may not be the right fit for everyone. When considering bariatric weight loss surgery, it is also important to note that:
- It is difficult (though not impossible) to reverse an MGB through revision surgery
- There is an increased risk of dumping syndrome, in which food (normally high in calories, fat, and sugar) moves too quickly through the digestive system
- Your alcohol tolerance will diminish, and you may find that you are twice as sensitive to the effects of alcohol
- Like any surgery, MGB involves some risk of complications, including ulcers, bowel obstructions, and nutritional deficiencies
Is Mini Gastric Bypass Safe?
Mini gastric bypass side effects tend to be rare, typically affecting only a very small percentage (fewer than 5%) of patients. When performed by an experienced bariatric surgeon, MGB surgery is a highly safe procedure with predictable successful outcomes.
SmartShape™ has been awarded a Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (CoEMBS) accreditation by the Surgical Review Corporation—the first Canadian facility to earn this honour. Our commitment to exceptional patient care before, during, and long after their procedures make SmartShape™ a destination for bariatric surgery patients throughout Canada and abroad.
Mini Gastric Bypass Requirements
Good candidates for mini gastric bypass surgery:
- Are aged 18 or older
- Have a body mass index (BMI) of 35+
- Are committed to making lifestyle and dietary changes after surgery
- Do not use recreational drugs or drink alcohol in excess
- Are able to take time off work or school for recovery
During your consultation, your bariatric surgeon will determine whether a mini gastric bypass or another procedure (such as gastric sleeve surgery) is appropriate for you.
If you are interested in improving your health through sustainable, long-term weight loss, please request a consultation or call us at (888) 278-7952 to learn more about how mini gastric bypass can help you.