Bariatric surgery is an ever-changing and developing field. At times, there are fashions and fads, much like diets, which in the short term appear to have benefits but after a while become either ineffective or even downright dangerous. For this reason, we offer only thoroughly evaluated interventions so you can be assured of receiving care which is proven to be safe and effective. There may be rare occasions on which we do consider these procedures as reasonable options, but we stress they are the exception and not the norm.
Intragastric balloons continue to be offered in some centres, at enormous cost, with the promise of providing a weight loss solution without the invasiveness of surgery. These devices are not licensed to remain in your body for long. They need to be removed, and as such your weight is likely to creep back up again, within just months. This procedure is no longer supported by Medicare because of its poor cost/benefit ratio. There have also been some horrendous complications from this seemingly simple device. Their role in bariatric surgery is very limited.
Single anastomosis gastric bypass, or the “mini bypass” as it is commonly known, is a procedure which is being practiced more commonly of late. It is relatively safe and effective in the short term, but what is completely unknown is its safety profile in decades to come. The design of this bypass exposes the stomach, and even the oesophagus, to bile from the intestine. Bile is a potent carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) in certain circumstances. The long-term safety of the “mini bypass” is still undergoing evaluation, and even its proponents in the bariatric surgery world admit we will not know its real safety for another 20 to 30 years. For this reason we do not currently offer this procedure.