Laparoscopic weight loss surgery is becoming more and more popular and is replacing open surgery as physicians become more experienced with the laparoscope procedure.
During a laparoscope surgery, four to six incisions about 1/2" - 2" in length are cut in the abdomen. The surgeon passes a camera, a light and one surgical instrument, each about the diameter of a pencil, into the abdomen.
After inflating the abdomen with carbon dioxide gas, so the surgeon can better see your stomach and other internal structures, the surgery is performed.
The NYU surgical weight loss program is now performing what they call "Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgeries", SILS, using a single slit through the belly button. The benefit of SILS is usually reduced scarring, better cosmetic results, faster recovery, and less pain. This latest advancement in weight loss surgery is the least invasive of all the surgeries and an important step forward for people needing weight loss surgery.
The most common procedures performed for weight loss using the laparoscopic method are gastric bypass surgery, adjustable gastric band surgery, and sleeve gastrectomy, and a combination, such as the Roux-en-Y procedure.
In a gastric bypass procedure, part of the stomach is removed and reattached after bypassing a major portion of the small intestine. This results in less (malabsorption) of the calories and nutrients a person consumes, resulting in weight loss.
For the gastric band surgery, a band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach limiting the amount of food someone can eat at one time. No nutrients or calories are lost.
Roux-en-Y is a combination of gastric bypass and the band procedure where only a small part of the stomach, about the size of an egg, remains functional. The other portion is bypassed.
Two-thirds of the stomach is removed during the sleeve gastrectomy procedure and a portion of the small intestine is bypassed.
Some of the benefits of having your procedure done laparoscopically are quick recovery with no complications; only 1 - 3 days in the hospital, and the ability to return to work after just two to four weeks.
After your surgery you will follow a strict eating regimen and for about one year, and you will need to make regular follow up visits to your physician.
If, after one or two years from your surgery, you have a problem with folds of skin hanging around your abdomen, you may want to consider abdominoplasty, a plastic surgery procedure.
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