The number of people who resort to gastric bypass surgery for weight reduction has gone up to over 100,000 a year. The idea here is to shrink the stomach so that one feels full easily and as a consequence, eats less. It is common to lose 70, 80, 90, or even 100 pounds and more in the first year.
The deterrent with stomach reduction surgery has always been that it is major surgery and takes quite a long time. The stomach needs to be sliced open and then stapled or stitched into a small pouch. Fat as well as muscle has to be cut to reach the stomach. The bacteria present in the stomach may leak through the incision and infect the rest of the body.
Recovery from gastric bypass surgery sometimes took up to eight weeks. That was until the perfection of the mini gastric bypass.
In the 1990’s, surgeons at the Duke University Medical Center and St. Charles Hospital in New Orleans started looking for a weight loss procedure that was easier to perform, more effective, and importantly, safer.
They were looking for a procedure in which:
The first thing was that there should be an “exit strategy.” That is, the procedure must be easy to reverse in case it led to excessive weight loss, inadequate weight loss (requiring a different procedure), or other complications.
Then there should be least amount of scarring, and the patient should experience as little pain as possible. There must be a low failure rate, and quick recovery time, and a relatively low cost. Mini Gastric Bypass was the answer to all these concerns.
During the mini gastric bypass, the surgeon attaches a small pouch of the stomach to the tip of the small intestine, hence bypassing about 7 feet (200 cm) of intestine that otherwise would absorb fat.
The procedure creates a small stomach that holds only about half a cup (125 ml) of food and water. And it leaves only a small part of the intestine available to absorb the fats and sugars present in the little food that this stomach digests.
The whole mini gastric bypass procedure may be complete in as little as twenty minutes. Thirty to thirty-five minutes is the rule. Less time under anesthesia translates to quicker recovery with a reduced risk of complications.
The therapeutic results of mini gastric bypass are phenomenal.
In a study conducted on the first 1,274 people who underwent mini gastric bypass, the average loss of excess weight was 21% in the first month. By the end of the sixth month, the average patient was already 50% of their way to their aimed weight.
After two years, the average patient still was overweight – but he or she had lost nearly 80% of the excess weight.
Mini gastric bypass completely got rid of apnea, arthritis, diabetes, incontinence, and high blood pressure in 70% to 90% of patients. Medication and machines to treat these problems thus became a thing of the past.
After the mini gastric bypass, some nutritional supplementation is required. Doctors normally prescribe multivitamins containing folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron. In order to minimize heartburn, most mini gastric bypass recipients take Tums four times a day.
No surgical procedure, including mini gastric bypass, is the complete answer to weight control. Planning what you eat actually becomes even more necessary after having the procedure. But mini gastric bypass may be the stepping stone to achieve the weight loss you’ve only dreamed about, and set you on a new road to a thinner, healthier, happier life.