Surgical Weight Loss Procedure: Mini Gastric Bypass
2 years post-surgery
Two years ago, Pina wasn’t able to cross her legs, wear a belt or fit comfortably in a patio chair or an airplane seat.
The Brampton, ON woman admits it feels “shocking” to look at photos of herself when she was at her heaviest.
“I was in denial about how big I was,” says Pina. “The scale read 300’ so you think ‘How could you not know?’ but I just didn’t realize how bad it had gotten.”
Pina was a candidate for Gastric Bypass surgery through her provincial health network and spent a year going through various appointments, but wound up changing her mind because it “didn’t feel right” for her.
She still needed to lose the weight, but she wasn’t sure what to do and struggled to stop overeating.
Soon after, Pina learned about SmartShape Weight Loss Centre — which has offices in Mississauga, Toronto, Regina, Calgary and Vancouver – from a friend and fellow mom. As they started chatting, Pina became interested in learning more about weight loss surgery – particularly the mini gastric bypass, a modern version of the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.
“I’d never heard of it, but I did some research and I was hooked,” says Pina. “I went in for a free consultation and spoke with a doctor, and I just knew it was right for me.”
The Mini Gastric Bypass is performed laparoscopically and allows food to bypass a portion of the stomach and small intestine. Because the food is not digested and absorbed as much, people often feel satisfied with smaller portions.
Pina booked the procedure in November and it was completed less than a month later, where she stayed at the clinic for one night, and then went home to recuperate. A little over a month later, she was happily vacationing in Punta Cana and getting used to her new lifestyle.
“It was strange at first, to feel satisfied from eating smaller portions,” says Pina. “I didn’t feel deprived or anything. I just felt comfortable, so I’d stop, but it was much less than I used to eat.”
Pina says having the procedure has changed her relationship with food for the better. If she wants a bagel, she’ll have half. She eats cake on her birthday, but just a modest slice.
“Sure, I’ll have a cookie every now and then, but I won’t eat 10 cookies and feel guilty about it anymore. I just don’t want 10 cookies,” explains Pina.
By April, Pina was down 55 lbs. and got rid of all of her old clothes. Now it’s been a year and a half since the procedure, and Pina has lost 95 lbs. — “practically a whole other person,” she laughs — and plans to lose another 20 lbs. to get to her goal weight.
“I can see my girlish figure again,” says Pina.
Changing one’s lifestyle, including day-to-day nutrition, can be a challenging and emotional process, which is why Registered Dietitian Margeaux Maniatis counsels individuals through their SmartShape journey. She works with patients before and after a procedure to change their eating habits for an improved quality of life, weight and health, and non-scale victories.
“We help patients improve the quality of their life and it does require a commitment from the patient to make changes in their lifestyle,” adds Debbie Gallagher, a nurse at SmartShape Weight Loss Centre.
During the first few weeks after a Mini Gastric Bypass procedure, patients work their way from clear fluids to full fluids, purées, soft foods and solid foods. At this point, patients participate in an online, interactive webinar facilitated by SmartShape’s Dietitian team. The educational webinar allows patients to chat about their experience and learn more about expectations for their weight loss journey, hunger and satiety, optimal meal timing, as well as how to build enjoyable, good quality meals and snacks.
Maniatis says SmartShape’s 5-Year AfterCare program provides long-term support for patients as they navigate their new lifestyle following their procedure.
“We encourage them to reach out as often as they’d like — if they are facing a nutrition challenge or even if they want to share a new recipe or are proud of a particular achievement,” adds Maniatis. “We want to be there for them along their journey.”
Pina says she’s had plenty of achievements over the last year and a half, and she knows there are more to come.
“I have tons more energy to do things with my family. I live in a townhouse with lots of stairs, and I’m not huffing and puffing to climb them,” says Pina. “Whenever someone is considering the procedure, I tell them it’s the best thing they could ever do.”
Lose Weight with SmartShape™
SmartShape Weight Loss Centre is a Canadian clinic that offers safe, effective weight loss procedures with wait times of just 4-6 weeks after an initial consultation with one of our surgeons.
SmartShape has helped over 6,000 patients improve their quality of life and achieve sustained weight loss since the clinic opened in 2005, and continues to be the leading provider of proven weight loss programs in Canada.
Our fully-qualified surgeons perform four life-changing procedures: