Mini Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Bypass: Which One Is Better?

Bariatric surgery, such as mini-gastric bypass surgery or traditional gastric bypass surgery, offers patients the possibility to improve their lives in more ways than they can anticipate. At VIDA Bariatrics, we know that the journey to get to that *happy* place can be overwhelming at times.

Should you get gastric bypass surgery or mini-gastric bypass surgery?

What about a gastric sleeve?

In fact, what are the differences?

Today we are going to discuss a question we hear often: what is the best bariatric procedure out there?

The number of questions, doubts, and choices that patients face before getting invasive surgery for weight loss can be intimidating for bariatric patients. No patient has to go through their bariatric journey by themselves. Finding a surgeon who will support and guide you every step of the way will determine the procedure that will help you the most when it comes to losing excess weight. And it is not as simple as naming the single best weight loss procedure. Patients’ health, lifestyle, expectations, and safety come first.

Let’s start by talking about two weight loss procedures that up until recently, were the go-to choice for bariatric patients: mini-gastric bypass vs gastric bypass.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Traditional gastric bypass surgery is a very popular choice in the United States as far as weight loss surgery goes. Gastric bypass surgery has two main steps. During a gastric bypass procedure, a bariatric surgeon will reduce the size of the functional part of your stomach. Your surgeon basically makes your stomach smaller, so, your food intake will be limited.

The gastric bypass portion of the operation happens when the surgeon connects your now smaller stomach to a section of your small intestine, bypassing a portion of your small intestine and the rest of your stomach. After the intestinal rerouting procedure, you can expect the gastric bypass to help you lose excess weight on three levels: a restrictive, a malabsorptive, and a metabolic component. In simpler terms: gastric bypass restricts the amount of food you can consume, limits the number of calories your body is able to absorb, and reduces the hunger-hormones production in your gut, making you feel satisfied faster.

Decades ago, a traditional gastric bypass was a risky procedure that involved painful healing and hours in the OR. Medicine has evolved, and getting a gastric bypass has become less invasive. Our bariatric surgeons, for their part, opt for the laparoscopic approach, the innovative technique that requires smaller incisions and is less invasive.

Mini-Gastric Bypass Surgery: the “Mini Bypass”

Less known than its “big brother,” the mini-gastric bypass results in a smaller stomach pouch. Similar to a traditional gastric bypass, the mini-gastric bypass weight loss procedure promotes weight loss at a restrictive, malabsorptive, and metabolic level.

As its name suggests, the laparoscopic mini-gastric bypass is safer and takes less operating time when compared to the traditional laparoscopic gastric bypass. Post-surgical weight loss results with mini bypass are similar to the traditional laparoscopic gastric bypass, but requiring as little as 4 small incisions, mini bypass recovery can be faster and safer. The risk of complications during weight loss surgery is also lower during a mini-gastric bypass compared to a traditional gastric bypass.

After reading this you’re probably wondering: why don’t more people choose mini-gastric bypass? Factors such as insurance restrictions and laparoscopic expertise and training have influenced mini bypass popularity. Finding a bariatric surgeon familiar with the mini-gastric bypass procedure can be a challenge for some patients. The good news is that the VIDA Bariatrics surgical team is highly experienced and trained in performing laparoscopic mini-gastric bypass surgeries, so, you can rest assured you’ll receive the best mini-bypass care possible.

Have You Considered a Gastric Sleeve Instead?

Perhaps neither a traditional gastric bypass nor a mini-gastric bypass surgery is for you! A third option that should definitely be on your radar is the gastric sleeve.

With bariatric surgery advances, more patients are exploring their options beyond gastric bypass and mini-gastric bypass. And while, for the right patient, a mini bypass or traditional gastric bypass surgery may be the best choice, physicians all over the world are encouraging their patients to consider the gastric sleeve as their weight-loss surgery. Why?

The gastric sleeve is far less invasive than mini-gastric bypass and traditional gastric bypass surgeries and has proven to be more effective. When you undergo this operation, the bariatric surgeon will remove a significant portion of your stomach, leaving a small stomach pouch. After surgery, your food intake is decreased and because the portion of the stomach that produces Ghrelin, the hormone that causes hunger, is also removed, you will naturally eat less. For patients with a very high BMI index who need to lose substantial excess weight, the gastric sleeve is often the safest option when compared with mini-gastric bypass and traditional bypass, and it’s one that will help them achieve the greatest excess weight loss.

How Do I Decide Between Mini-Gastric Bypass vs Traditional Gastric Bypass vs Gastric Sleeve?

Did we solve the question ‘Which is the best bariatric procedure for weight loss?’ Well, at VIDA we believe that what determines the best bariatric surgery is actually the surgeon. An honest, caring and experienced bariatric surgeon will guide you into choosing what is best for you, whether it’s a mini bypass, gastric bypass, or gastric sleeve. So, definitely start there: with a comprehensive evaluation with your bariatric surgeon. Our team of talented laparoscopic doctors will be more than honored in helping you with this first step in deciding between gastric bypass, mini-gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve.

“We pride ourselves in putting the patient first, never jeopardizing their well-being,” concluded the staff at VIDA Bariatrics. Furthermore, we only work with board-certified physicians, who are active members of bariatric and laparoscopic medical societies such as the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Do you think you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery? Is this something you have explored with your physician? Then give us a call or visit our website. Feel free to contact us via phone, email, or Facebook Messenger. If you’re calling from the USA, you can call us at (619) 955-6845. Calling from Mexico? Dial (664) 608-6460 to reach us. International patient? Reach us at our toll-free number, 1-619-738-2144, we’ll assist you every step of the way and answer any questions you have about gastric bypass, mini-gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve.

With us, you will not only find the best bariatric surgeons, but also internationally accredited surgical facilities. We’re more than happy to help you in deciding the best weight-loss surgery for you! Don’t wait any longer to change your life.

More Info About Bariatric Surgery & Weight Loss


Dr. Gabriela Rodriguez specializes in General and Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery. She brings to VIDA Wellness and Beauty a wealth of experience in bariatrics. Dr. Rodriguez is a founding associate of the Mexican College of General Surgeons. A world-class bariatric surgeon with double certification in the US and Mexico.