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Mini Gastric Bypass

The mini gastric bypass is an attractive alternative to the traditional Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. In fact, if you are considering a bypass or gastric sleeve then it's worth considering the mini bypass too. On this page, you’ll find all you need to know about the ‘mini’, but the three key features are:

1. It offers similar weight loss and health benefits to the Roux and the sleeve.

2. It’s the simpler and quicker of the two bypass procedures.

3. The way the procedure is done means that the risk of an internal hernia does not apply.

As with the standard Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the mini gastric bypass works both by restricting the amount of food that can be eaten at any one time, and by altering gut hormones involved in appetite control. Mini gastric bypass (MGB) as we know it today was developed by Dr Robert Rutledge in 1997. Since then tens of thousands of procedures have been done and MGB is growing in popularity in many countries around the world. For many patients it provides a quicker and more effective alternative to the traditional bypass. Most patients considering gastric sleeve should also consider MGB too.

The mini bypass is now established in the NHS and we expect ‘mini’ numbers to increase rapidly. It offers a number of benefits over the traditional ‘roux-en-y’ gastric bypass, some of which are significant. Here are the benefits:

  • Weight loss outcomes are marginally better with the mini than the roux-en-y
  • The bowel is not cut through and re-attached to the stomach, and there is only one anastomosis (join between the stomach and bowel). Less cutting means less risk and a faster recovery
  • The mini is a quicker procedure
  • The risk of an internal hernia (the most worrisome risk for bypass patients, reduces to near zero with the mini)

Am I eligible for Mini Gastric Bypass?

We consider patients eligible for ‘Mini’ when they have a BMI above 40. Our decisions about eligibility are based on the published data for each procedure and the general NICE guidance published by the Department of Health. You can view those guidelines here. Decisions about your eligibility are always discussed with you face to face at your consultation when we’ll discuss the pros and cons and make sure you understand which procedure is best for you personally. In exceptional cases we will consider Mini down to a BMI of 35, but never lower.

How is the mini gastric bypass operation performed?

In the first part of mini gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is divided, and a small tube of stomach created. The food that is eaten goes into this small stomach. This is the restrictive part of the procedure and means that only a very small amount of food can be eaten at any one time.

Mini gastric bypass diagram
Next, the surgeon brings up a loop of bowel (about 150cm long) and joins this to the lower part of the new smaller stomach (the join is called the “anastamosis”). In this way food passes from the small stomach into the small bowel and here it meets the digestive juices which have been produced in the bigger stomach. In effect, therefore, about 150cm of small bowel has been bypassed before the calories and nutrients of the food you eat is absorbed in the bowel. By consuming fewer calories you will lose weight*.

Mr Rishi Singhal is Medical Director at Healthier Weight and consultant bariatric surgeon at Heart of England NHS Trust, one of the NHS Trusts that is already using mini gastric bypass. Mr Singhal commented: 

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"The Mini bypass will become a mainstream procedure in the treatment of obesity in the period ahead. It gives excellent results and a number of benefits when compared to the Roux. Both have a role to play and which is preferable will vary form patient to patient. Those looking at the sleeve should also consider the Mini. There are very good reasons, especially when it comes to managing leaks, that favour the Mini."


How does the mini gastric bypass compare to the standard Roux-en-Y bypass?

The main difference between the standard Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure and the mini gastric bypass can be seen by comparing the two diagrams. You can see that in the case of the mini bypass there is only one anastamosis (join between stomach and bowel), whereas in the standard Roux-en-Y bypass there are two; an upper and lower. Because of this the mini gastric bypass can be done in less time than Roux-en-Y.

Studies show that weight loss and health benefits resulting from mini gastric bypass are essentially the same as for standard Roux-en-Y bypass.  

Standard v Mini.Bypass.gif
Mini bypass and reflux disadvantages

Are there any disadvantages to the mini gastric bypass?

The Mini comes with the same surgical risks as the Roux but the longer term risks are lower. There are few disadvantages and we are stretching a point to find them in the literature, but patients should consider the following;

  • Patients appear to experience a little more nutritional deficiency in the very long term. That said, we think new surgical techniques, with a shorter limb of 150cm, largely overcomes this.
  • Early studies showed an increase in acid reflux. The later publications don’t show this, and...
  • There is relatively little data when compared to the Roux. 

Set against the benefits these disadvantages seem very modest.

Who should consider Mini Gastric Bypass?

Patients with a body mass index ( BMI – check your BMI here) should consider the mini gastric bypass alongside the traditional gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. There are now very strong argument to select mini over both. At Healthier We apply a minimum BMI criteria of 35 to sleeve procedures and we would do the same for Mini. For patients experiencing significant health problems as a result of their weight, for example Diabetics, we would still favour the Roux-en-y bypass. 

To better understand your options speak to our team on 0800 313 4618 or complete our enquiry form here. We’ll be able to answer your questions and schedule a face to face consultation, which free and with no obligation, to explain things in detail, face to face. 

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Is the mini gastric bypass preferable to the standard bypass? 

There is no simple answer to this question as the procedure that is best for one patient will be different to another. It will depend on the patients weight history, medical history, starting weight/BMI, employment, etc. There is a lot we take into account when coming to a personal ‘recommendation’. There are other factors to take into account too, such as surgeon preference and the patient’s own preference. Very few surgeons in the UK have experience of the mini bypass so the is scarce availability. It is unlikely that you will be able to have it outside of a specialist centre such as our’s. The vast majority of private hospitals will not offer a Mini service. 

Our advice is to speak to our team and meet with one of our surgeons to explore the details and decide if a mini bypass is right for you. We’ll help you through the process. 

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How much does it cost?

The price of the Mini gastric bypass is the same as for the Roux en Y Gastric Bypass. This is because the theatre time and stay in the hospital are broadly the same. Your package will include a comprehensive aftercare and support package including surgical warranty. In order to obtain a personalised quotation and to see the finance options that are available, please request a quotation here

We provide formal personalised quotations so that enquirers are clear on what is included in our package. Several payment plans are available if you would like to spread payments over a period of time.
Read more about our finance plans here.

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For prices and finance options, complete a fast quote or call 0800 313 4618

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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for each individual. As such, Healthier Weight cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals.