Types of Gastric Bypass
There are three types of Gastric Bypass surgeries: the Roux-en-Y Stomach Surgery, the Mini Gastric Bypass, and the Biliopancreatic Diversion.
Roux-en-Y Stomach Bypass
In the Roux-en-Y type of gastric bypass, the surgeon makes a cut all the way across the abdomen and lifts back the skin for the next two stages. A small pouch is created from the upper section of the stomach by separating it from the rest of the stomach by means of vertical bonding or staples. Then the small pouch is attached directly to the lower part of the small intestines called the ‘Jejunum’, thus avoiding the upper small intestine section called the ‘Duodenum’.
The point of the amputated intestine has the shape of a ‘Y’, hence the name. There are several variations to the Roux-en-Y type of gastric bypass and collectively, they are the most common of the bypass procedures. The re-routed digestive system means that food from the esophagus moves into the smaller stomach, directly into the jejunum and then into the large intestines. By-passing the duodenum means that less fat is absorbed which helps to reduce the calories absorbed. Also, the smaller stomach size means that the person’s food intake is also reduced and the hunger sensations are decreased.
Mini-Gastric Bypass Surgery
This is a fairly short and simple procedure, typically lasting about 30 minutes. Instead of creating a small pouch like most other gastric bypasses, this operation staples the stomach on the less curved side to form a narrow tube which is then connected directly to the lower segment of the intestines. Furthermore, instead of open cut surgery, a less invasive method called ‘laparoscopy’ is applied. It involves making a small abdominal incision through which the surgical instruments and a tiny camera are inserted.
This type of gastric bypass is has obvious advantages to the Roux-en Y method. Being a minimally invasive operation, there is less tissue damage, less pain, less bleeding, a lower risk of infection and minimal scarring. Also, the recovery period and hospital stay is greatly shortened.
This type of gastric bypass, also known as ‘Extensive Gastric Bypass’, is far more intense and invasive the other two. A large section of the stomach is completely removed by amputating in a vertical direction, as opposed to a horizontal direction like in the other procedures. The remaining stomach, which is shaped like a large, narrow tube, is then attached to the final section of the small intestine. The upper intestine is completely sealed off and left detached inside the abdomen. Also, unlike the other types of bypass, Biliopancreatic Diversion leaves intact the pyloric valve that controls the discharge of food from the stomach.
This vertical removal procedure is conducted in two slightly different ways. Although they are both successful in bringing about weight loss, their higher potential for nutritional deficiency means that extensive types of gastric bypass are less commonly carried out.
All three types of gastric bypass procedures are irreversible. Therefore, careful thought should be given before embarking on this type of surgery as a treatment for obesity.