Also known as the mini-VSG, the mini-sleeve or mini-gastric bypass surgery is a version of the old gastric sleeve surgery. Compared to the traditional procedure, it is scaled-down and less invasive. As the term, ‘mini sleeve is often used interchangeably with the type of procedure and the surgical technique, it can confuse people.

Patients having lower body fat may find the mini sleeve procedure quite ideal. The surgery poses a lower risk, less pain, and has a faster recovery period.

In the laparoscopic sleeve gastronomy, 80-85% of the stomach is removed. Alternatively, only a 40-50% reduction in stomach size is observed in the mini sleeve surgery. For inserting instruments in the abdomen, the surgeon makes a single incision or uses the 3-5 port conventional technique.

Mini-Gastric Bypass Surgery in Mexico – Weight Loss

A major question patients have is how does the surgery promote weight loss? Besides restriction, hormonal changes are the main mechanism for reducing weight. As the stomach size of a patient reduces, their eating habits are controlled and they can continue with a healthy lifestyle.

  • The surgery removes a small part of the stomach.
  • The urge to eat is reduced.
  • After the surgery, individuals feel full faster.

The part of the stomach, which is removed, produces Ghrelin. It is a hormone inducing hunger, produced by the upper portion of the stomach and the fundus. The hormone causes cravings and hunger sensations by signaling the brain. Cravings reduce as the gastric mini sleeve procedure removes this part of the stomach. Hence, lower amounts of Ghrelin are secreted.

Requirements for Mini-Gastric Bypass Surgery in Mexico

Patients with lower BMI are the perfect candidates for the mini sleeve procedure. The BMI must range between 29 and 35. It is less invasive and offers better results for individuals who are overweight or obese.

  • Body mass index of 29-35.
  • Determination to commit to healthy living.

Compared to traditional gastric sleeve surgery, shedding weight is significantly lower with the mini sleeve. Hence, patients need to work harder and dedicate to healthy living for sustained weight loss.

Side Effects of the Mini Sleeve Surgery

In the case of all bariatric procedures, iron deficiency is a common side effect. It is also true for mini-sleeve surgery. Less nutrient intake and lower production from the reduced stomach size cause the deficiency. Hence, doctors recommend increasing the intake of iron, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Surgeons may also suggest supplements for at least the first nine months post-surgery. Continuation of supplements depends on the patient’s diet and recovery.

Patients who follow directions and move to healthy alternatives do not face nutrient deficiency. Compared to someone with a complete stomach, post-operative patients are at higher risk of developing iron deficiency if they discontinue supplements in the form of drink mixes, tablets, or pills.

Cost of Mini-Gastric Bypass Surgery in Mexico

In the United States, the overall cost of mini-sleeve surgery can be $20,000. The cost of mini-gastric bypass surgery in Mexico can range between $4,200 and $9,000. Bariatric centers in Mexico offer mini-sleeve all-inclusive procedures to cross-border patients in the range of $4,500 to $5,500. These packages may vary between different centers and include medical tests, hospital stay, operative procedure costs, and more.

What is the procedure of mini-gastric bypass surgery?

The procedure of mini-sleeve is similar to the traditional gastric sleeve but less invasive. The surgeon places an oral bougie device through the esophagus. The device outlines the stomach. It also acts as a guide for cutting and stapling it.

In the mini version, the size of the bougie is much larger. The standard size in gastric sleeve surgery is 34 Fr (French), while in the mini sleeve is 50 Fr. It allows the patient to have a miniature gastric sleeve by retaining a large portion of the stomach.

Note: A few bariatric surgeons might consider mini-sleeve surgery as an unethical procedure. The reason for this is that the World College of Surgeons consensus does not accept the procedure.

What is the recovery time and surgery duration in a mini-sleeve procedure?

25 to 45 minutes is the duration of operation in a mini vertical sleeve gastrectomy. The time usually varies depending on the skills of the surgeon. The recovery period ranges between two to three days, while the healing period can be 10-14 days.

In the case of desk jobs, patients can return to work within the first week of surgery. Their work must not require any kind of lifting. Lifting restrictions can be suggested by your doctor for 4 to six weeks post-surgery.

How good/bad is the mini-sleeve compared to other options?

Traditional Gastric Sleeve v/s Mini Sleeve Surgery

The traditional gastric sleeve surgery removes almost twice the size of the stomach than the mini version. Hence, the former is much more effective. After 3 to 5 years of surgery, sustained weight loss is higher in traditional gastric sleeve surgery, according to studies. Overall pound shedding is also higher.

Also, the traditional sleeve gastrectomy improved and cures obesity-related conditions much better. These include cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty v/s Mini Sleeve Surgery

The sleeve gastroplasty procedure is performed endoscopically via the esophagus. Hence, many patients confuse the mini sleeve with it. Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is a new procedure and does not need any incision. VSG is a laparoscopic procedure, unlike the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty. However, when compared to the traditional laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, both procedures show lower effectiveness. It is especially true in the case of patients with higher BMIs. If you wish to go for a less invasive bariatric procedure, the mini-VSG is a sound choice. The trade-offs are lower effectiveness in terms of weight loss. Yet, patients have the opportunity to get a headstart with weight loss and move to healthier alternatives. It helps move to a long-term wholesome lifestyle.

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