Researching bariatric surgery involves sorting through different techniques and determining which might be best for your situation. It’s important to know that bariatric surgery is an evolving field, and specific techniques that were popular in the past are now virtually obsolete. On the other hand, the mini gastric bypass and gastric bypass (also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) both remain options—but is one better than the other?
Both surgical procedures treat obesity by reducing the stomach size and altering the digestive process. While both methods can be effective, there are a few reasons our bariatric surgery specialists at SmartShape in Toronto and Laval, Quebec, perform the mini gastric bypass rather than the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. These reasons include the following:
Simplicity: The mini gastric bypass is a simplified version of the gastric bypass. It involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and connecting the newly created pouch directly to the small intestine. In the more complex Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the surgeon reduces the stomach’s size and then connects the smaller stomach to the intestine by surgically bypassing a portion of the small intestine.
Shorter operating time: The simplicity of the mini gastric bypass, performed laparoscopically, typically leads to less time in the OR. This minimizes a patient’s time under anesthesia and decreases the risk of complications associated with prolonged surgery.
Fewer potential complications: Even though surgery of any kind involves risks, a mini gastric bypass generally involves fewer possible complications compared to a traditional gastric bypass. Some of the common complications associated with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedures, such as a stricture or anastomotic leak (when the surgical connection leaks), are less frequent after a mini gastric bypass. And, because the mini procedure doesn’t involve rerouting the intestines, it reduces the risk of certain complications like internal hernias or bowel obstructions that can occur with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
Excellent weight loss and metabolic outcomes: On average, patients who have the mini gastric bypass procedure lose up to 75% of their excess weight—most of which occurs in the first year. This significant weight loss improves metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. These benefits compare favorably to the traditional gastric bypass without the potential complications.
Potential reversibility: Some patients may want bariatric surgery reversed or revised. This is accomplished more easily after a mini gastric bypass because the intestines are not rearranged. If necessary, a surgeon can convert the mini gastric bypass to another bariatric procedure, such as sleeve gastrectomy. This flexibility may be beneficial in some instances when revision or reversal is necessary.
Choosing Bariatric Surgery
If you’ve been considering weight loss surgery, such as a mini gastric bypass or a gastric sleeve procedure, SmartShape’s Bariatric Center of Excellence is the first in Canada to earn that designation. Unlike weight loss drugs such as Ozempic® or Wegovy®, bariatric surgery provides long-term weight loss benefits without ongoing, costly treatments.
If you’re interested in speaking with a SmartShape team member about bariatric surgery, call our office today at (888) 278-7952 or request a consultation. Browse our patient stories to see the results previous patients have achieved.