Mini Gastric Bypass

Mini gastric bypass surgery is what its name suggest, a scaled-down, miniature version of traditional gastric bypass surgery. The difference in the actual surgery is that with mini gastric bypass, the procedure is laparoscopic and reversible. Instead of a small pouch that is created with Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery, the mini gastric bypass surgery procedure creates a narrow tube that is attached to the small intestine approximately six feet from its starting point, a placement that bypasses the highly absorptive section of the intestine.

Advantages of Mini Gastric Bypass

So far mini gastric bypass surgery has been shown to:

  • Unlike Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass,
    this procedure is completely reversible or revisable at a latter date.
  • Lower cost than standard gastric bypass
  • Less time in the operating room. The surgery itself takes about 40 or minutes or less from start to finish.
  • Fast recovery time. Typically you are out of the hospital in less than 24 hours.
  • Surgery is performed laparoscopically
  • Equal or even greater success rates that other weight loss surgeries

Disadvantages of Mini Gastric Bypass
There are some disadvantages, such as:

  • No long term studies/results yet
  • Fewer doctors willing to perform the procedure
  • Few insurance companies willing to cover the cost

There is a lot of potential with mini gastric bypass and with time and the ability to see long term results, this procedure can become more of the norm as doctors and insurance companies start accepting it’s benefits and potential.

Gastric Bypass Diet

After a bariatric surgery procedure the patient will typically have a very small appetite due to the greatly reduced stomach capacity. It is this greatly reduced stomach size that leads to initial nausea and vomiting at the early stages after gastric bypass surgery.

Post-surgery, a gastric bypass surgery diet typically consists almost entirely of clear liquids. This restrictive diet includes foods such as clear broth, diluted sugar-free fruit juices or sugar-free gelatin. The next phase in the diet allows for a blended or pureed sugar-free diet for a period of at least two weeks.

Dehydration is extremely common immediately following gastric bypass surgery. Limitations on fluid intake, reduced caloric intake and a higher incidence of vomiting and diarrhea are all factors that contribute to dehydration in the patient.

In the long term a post bariatric surgery diet will include a daily multivitamin pill for life to help accommodate for nutritional deficiencies while doctors typically recommend diets high in protein and low in fat due to patients not being able to eat large quantities.

Eating Tips

The following are tips for ways to change your eating habits after you have had gastric bypass surgery. Your doctor can help you craft a custom diet plan, but these tips below are generally recognized as universal best practices for how to eat properly.

  • Eat slowly – Take your time eating your meals. You should spend at least 20-30 minutes to finish your meal. Eating too quickly can lead to nausea or vomiting.
  • Chew thoroughly – Chew your food thoroughly as any big chunks of food can become stuck in your new, smaller stomach inlet to the intestines. Chewing thoroughly will also help to slow you down.
  • Eat 6 small meals – instead of the standard 3 large meals you should eat smaller meals throughout the day. This will help to avoid stomach stretching and help the body digest the smaller meals more efficiently.
  • Stop eating when full – This part is critical as if you continue to eat once you are full you risk making yourself sick but even more importantly, you risk stretching your stomach or even rupturing your new stomach pouch.

Drinking Tips

How and what you drink is just as important as what you eat. Following these tips on proper fluid intake will help you post gastric bypass surgery.

  • Avoid drinking while eating – Drinking while eating can fill you up faster and cause you to not take in the nutritional requirements that your body needs.
  • Take small sips – You should avoid gulping while drinking and instead focus on small slow slips.
  • Avoid High Calorie Drinks – Drinks containing sugar, corn syrup or fructose should ne

Foods to Avoid

Because you will have reduced ability to take in food, you will want to ensure that you are eating the foods that provide the nutrition that you need. You do not want to “waste” meals eating foods that do not contain the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to maintain a healthy balance.

  • Avoid foods high in fat, sugar or carbohydrates – High calorie foods should be avoided. This is standard for any healthy diet.
  • Avoid alcohol – Alcohol contains “empty calories”. These are calories without nutritional benefit.

Gastric Bypass Complications

Gastric bypass surgery complications can be broken down by short term and long term complications. In the short term after gastric bypass surgery there are risks for pneumonia, blood clots, infections and potential leaks in the stomach. These complications are due to the surgery itself as well as the body reacting to the massive change that has taken place to the stomach and GI system.

Long term gastric bypass surgery complications are potential (but not likely) ulcers, gallstones, nutritional deficiency, hernias and “dumping syndrome”.

Dumping Syndrome

The “Dumping syndrome” which is one of the most common side effects of gastric bypass surgery is when the contents of the stomach move too rapidly through the small intestine causing nausea, weakness, fainting, perspiration and sometimes diarrhea. Typically many people are unable to tolerate certain foods, especially those that are high in sugar or fat. These foods are often linked to “dumping syndrome” and avoiding these foods can help lessen or even eliminate the possibility of this side effect. Fortunately, “dumping syndrome” is one of the least dangerous complications in terms of impact on your long term health outlook.

Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is a potential complication due to the fact that the duodenum is bypassed during this procedure and it is in the duodenum that much of your iron is absorbed here. This is more of potential complication with women than it is with men. This issue is best handled by taking an iron supplement or by making sure you eat foods that are high in iron.

Stomach or Intestinal Leaking

In rare cases, patients may have leakage either from the stomach or from the intestines. This is due to improper sealing and can lead to serious infections. This is something that is monitored very closely, especially immediately after the surgery has been completed.

Mortality Rate

Gastric bypass surgery has a mortality rate of about 1/350. This mortality rate is in line with other major surgical procedures that are performed on severely obese people who potentially have multiple obesity related health conditions. People that are at higher risk are usually those who have more severe health conditions or are older in age. The most common cause of death as a result of gastric bypass surgery are pulmonary embolism or an infection located at the site of stomach stapling or sutures.

Additional Risks and Complications

There are potential complications and risks that you should be aware of that affect all bariatric surgeries in general beyond what we have highlighted above specific to gastric bypass. These include both short and long term complications that you should be discussing with your doctor.

Gastric Bypass Cost

Gastric bypass surgery cost can range and be as little as under $10,00 to quite expensive and costing up to and over $35,000. The costs can vary depending on the type of surgery performed and length of time spent in the hospital in recovery. If you are paying out of pocket, the hospital will typically be able to work with you to establish a payment plan or even a reduced payment. Gastric bypass surgery costs can be made up of :

  • Pre-operation lab and testing fees
  • X-rays
  • Anesthesia
  • Hospital room
  • Surgeons Fees
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Psychological Counseling
  • Exercise Training
  • Diet needs

Insurance Coverage

Gastric bypass surgery can be covered by insurance, Medicare or Medicaid but that coverage is determined on a case by case basis. For those whose insurance does not cover the cost of the surgery, there are often financing options that are available. Typically your doctor will have more information for you about your options and figuring out a payment method that meets your needs.

In order for your insurance to be able to potentially cover some of the costs of your gastric bypass surgery you need to be able to demonstrate that you have attempted all other options available to reduce your weight. If you still are unable to get your BMI below 40 and are considered morbidly obese, your doctor can help you put together a strong case as to why you need gastric bypass surgery to be covered by your insurance company.

Keep in mind that there are many portions of the after-care that will not be covered by insurance no matter what. This can include dietitians and exercise programs that are vital to long term weight management and healthy living.

Medicare Coverage

Medicare will sometimes cover some of the costs of gastric bypass surgery. However, typically medicare will require that you meet both the obesity requirements (BMI > 40) and have a obesity related health condition such as diabetes or heart disease. In addition you must have the surgery performed by a Medicare approved bariatric surgery facility.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is used to treat morbid obesity which is defined as having a Body Mass Index greater than 40. Gastric bypass is a weight loss surgery that involves both restrictive and malabsorptive technique to achieve weight loss.

At its core a gastric bypass surgery consists of the creation of a smaller thumb-sized pouch derived from the upper stomach, while at the same time bypassing the remaining larger portion of the stomach. This restricts the quantity of food that can be eaten and in turn lowers the possible caloric intake.

The second basic component of gastric bypass surgery is the reconstruction of the GI tract which allows the newly partitioned stomach segments to drain properly. The method used in this reconstruction can differ in the lengths of small bowel used, the degree to which food absorption is affected, and the likelihood of adverse nutritional effects.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass is the most common form of gastric bypass being performed today. This procedure has been shown to be effective and safe over long term duration and thus it is widely accepted by both surgeons and insurance companies as the leading choice for weight loss surgery. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass involves separating the stomach into a smaller, upper pouch and a larger, lower section, while the small intestine is divided and rerouted. The new small pouch is created at the top of the stomach where the food enters using staples to completely separate it from the lower portion of the stomach. The remaining larger, lower portion of the stomach is bypassed but not removed from the body as it is in something like the gastric sleeve surgery. Since the natural stomach outlet is located in the bypassed portion of the stomach it is also bypassed meaning a new connection is created to the intestines.

Advantages of Gastric Bypass

Typically most people will lose about 10 to 20 pounds in the first month after the surgery. Weight loss will continue but decrease over time. The people who see the best results are those who adhere to a strict diet and exercise routine, which is essential to keeping the weight off long term. In addition the following are benefits one can expect from gastric bypass surgery:

  • Increased weight loss due to being a restrictive and malabsorptive surgery
  • Verified long term success
  • Insurance coverage is likely

Gastric bypass surgery not only has the obvious benefit of helping shed weight, but it can help improve a variety of medical conditions that are related to obesity.

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Hypertension
  • Joint Pain
  • Asthma

Disadvantages of Gastric Bypass

With any other major medical procedure, there is the potential for gastric bypass complications ranging from minor to major. It is understanding the potential for those risks and managing accordingly that will best help you get through anything that may come arise.

  • Complex operation comes with risks including infection and bleeding
  • “Dumping Syndrome” is associated with this procedure
  • Potential for vitamin and nutrient deficiency due to malabsorptive component of this surgery

The Cost of Gastric Bypass

When considering if gastric bypass surgery is right for you, the cost of the surgery is a major consideration. Read more to learn more about the cost of gastric bypass.

Gastric Bypass Complications

There are complications associated with all weight loss surgeries. It is understanding what to expect and how to manage those complications that will. Read more to learn more about the potential complications of gastric bypass surgery.

How Do I Know if This is the Right Surgery for Me?

There are positives and negatives to gastric bypass surgery and that is why working with your doctor to determine the best option for you is critical. In the meantime you can compare the similarities and differences between some of the major weight loss surgeries with our weight loss surgery comparison infographic.

Finding the Right Doctor

If you are looking for a doctor in your area that can consult with you about gastric bypass surgery you can either browse our directory of bariatric surgeons in your area and contact them directly or contact us for assistance in finding the right weight loss specialist to meet your needs. We recommend reaching out to multiple doctors in order to find one that you are comfortable with before making your decision.