As more people look to weight loss surgery to address their expanding waist lines, new research suggests that the best way to drop a few dress sizes is to opt for the mini - as in mini-gastric bypass surgery.

The research, published in Elsevier's International Journal of Surgery, studied patients who underwent mini-gastric bypass surgery, or MGB, and assessed their pre- and post-hospitalization needs. The results were compared with the findings of recent research into patients of a more invasive bypass surgery, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RNY).

Findings from the RNY research reflected a spike in increased hospital admission after the first year of the surgery. While the increase can partly be attributed to elected procedures like plastic surgery, knee replacements and disk procedures for RNY post-op patients, the majority of admissions were for RNY-related complications.

Alternatively, the rates of hospitalization after MGB drop dramatically, and the surgery itself is shorter, safer and easier to perform than the RNY. The MGB patients who underwent surgery between January 2000 and June 2005 in the United States and who participated in the survey did of course cite some post-op problems such as renal stone disease and Cholecystectomy, but overall the complications were relatively small.

Dr Robert Rutledge lead author of the study said "Bariatric surgery although valuable can have major risks and complications. Recent studies have shown complications and hospitalization rates of 20% per year for three years after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. If the result of this study are confirmed, showing lower risk of complications and re-hospitalization after the Mini-Gastric bypass, then patients and insurers may have access to a safer and less expensive alternative."

Beyond the comparison to the RNY procedure, MGB patients also saw a decrease in their hospitalization rates after the MGB when compared to pre-MGB hospitalization rates. So as people continue to look for the quick fix to cut the pounds, the big operation may not result in the biggest results. Sometimes the best rewards come in small - or in this case - "mini" packages.

Dr Robert Rutledge
Center for Excellence in Laparoscopic Obesity Surgery
98 E Lake Mead PKWY Ste 302, Henderson
NV 89052, USA
Email: [email protected]

• For further information and copies of the full paper please e-mail:
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Published: 15 Oct 2006

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International Journal of Surgery