Bariatric surgery: alternatives to the standard gastric bypass

Written by: Mr Ahmed R. Ahmed
Published: | Updated: 21/02/2020
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Bariatric surgery is considered to be the most effective way of achieving sustained weight loss. As it has evolved, new variations and alternatives have arisen. The standard gastric bypass (known as the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) is in no way obsolete but there are now alternative forms of weight loss surgery aimed at meeting patients’ individual needs.



Mini gastric bypass


The mini gastric bypass not only restricts the amount of food that can be eaten at any one time but also short circuits the gastrointestinal tract. This form of bariatric surgery works on two levels: firstly, less calories are absorbed and, secondly, the gut hormones are altered which are involved in appetite control.

The stomach is divided and a pouch is created from a small tube of stomach. The surgeon then joins the pouch to the bowel. Food passes from the small pouch into the bowel, where it meets the digestive juices which have moved downwards from the main part of the stomach. This allows 200-300cm of small bowel to be bypassed before absorption of food can take place, which leads to weight loss.

Studies show that the weight loss and health benefits which result from a mini gastric bypass are a little higher than with the standard gastric bypass. The procedure takes 45 minutes and patients usually spend one to two nights in hospital.


Gastric sleeve


A gastric sleeve involves converting the stomach into a long, thin tube by stapling it and removing the excess stomach. Unlike a gastric bypass, the route that food takes following a gastric sleeve is the same as before the bariatric surgery, no part of the digestive system is bypassed. As the stomach is smaller, appetite is restricted. The procedure takes 45 minutes and patients are typically discharged on the first postoperative day. Patients tend to lose 30% of total body weight.


Gastric balloon


For patients looking for non-surgical options, the gastric balloon system achieves an average weight loss of 9kgs to 14 kgs in 6 months which can now be maintained up to 1 year with the new Orbera balloon system. A synthetic, sterile fluid filled balloon is endoscopically placed inside the stomach.

It sits in the stomach, partially filling the space inside. This has the effect of making you feel less hungry and feel fuller quicker and for longer when you do eat. The Orbera gastric balloon must be removed after 12 months, after which time dietary support will help you maintain a more controlled diet and therefore maintain the weight loss.

By Mr Ahmed R. Ahmed

Mr Ahmed R. Ahmed is one of London's leading surgeons. Practising on Harley Street and other reputable clinics, he specialises in laparoscopic (keyhole) gastrointestinal and hernia surgery as well as having a specialist interest in weight loss. He has been committed to education and training, winning numerous prizes and awards throughout his career and now he serves as a senior lecturer at Imperial College London. He runs his own research team investigating mechanisms of weight loss surgery as well as researching newer technologies for helping people lose weight. He forms an integral part of numerous professional bodies including the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society and has been widely published in numerous field-related, peer-reviewed journals. Mr Ahmed was elected to council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and also sits on council of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society.

Mr Ahmed will provide you with a friendly and honest opinion regarding your suitability for surgery, putting your safety and well-being as the first priority. He pays particular attention to pre and postoperative care in order to optimise the outcome of your operation and provide you with a smooth recovery after surgery. Mr Ahmed has >99% success in achieving a complete laparoscopic result without converting to open surgery.

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