September 15, 2012

Minimally Invasive Weight Loss Surgeries Fare Better


Practically every day, there's more research about the health benefits of losing weight. Either these studies highlight an improved quality of life for folks who watch their weight, or identify yet another disease or condition for which obesity is a risk factor. Many Americans are taking this information to heart and making positive lifestyle changes in an effort to lose weight. But for some people, especially those who spend their workdays in cubicles, dieting and/or exercise simply aren't enough for them to shed those unwanted pounds.

Minimally Invasive Weight Loss Surgeries Fare Better
For these individuals, medicine has come up with an alternative: weight-loss surgery. There are several different surgical procedures that can aid in helping people slim down to a more manageable weight. They include adjustable gastric banding surgery, sleeve gastrectomies, or biliopancreatic diversion.

But by far the most popular weight loss operation is Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. This involves doctors making a small "pouch" in the upper stomach and connecting it to the middle of the small intestine. When this is done, any food that enters the pouch bypasses most of the stomach and upper small intestine, which makes people feel fuller after eating smaller portions. And there's an interesting study about this type of procedure which concludes that minimally invasive gastric bypass surgeries are safer than traditional "open abdomen" surgery.

The research was conducted by the Stanford University Medical Center and was published in June in the journal Archives of Surgery. Scientists examined over 156,000 gastric bypass surgeries that were performed in the United States between 2005 and 2007. About 26% of those procedures were what is known as open surgery, where the physician makes a large incision in the abdomen. The rest were performed laparoscopically, where a few small incisions are made and instruments are inserted through them to perform the necessary surgical tasks.

The results were extremely telling. Patients who underwent the minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedure not only had lower mortality rates, but also experienced much fewer complications like sepsis or cardiac arrhythmia than those who experienced open surgery. In addition, the minimally-invasive surgical patients had shorter hospital stays and lower medical bills as well. Senior author Dr. John Morton noted that the degree to which laparoscopic surgical patients had better outcomes than their open surgery counterparts was surprising.

For those thinking about undergoing laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, there are some important recommendations made by the researchers. They note that this type of procedure should only be performed by a physician at a medical facility that has been recognized as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence either by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery/Surgery Review Corporation or the American College of Surgeons. The facility in question must also perform at least 125 weight-loss procedures annually in order to ensure that the health care professionals are well-skilled in the successful completion of these surgeries.

In a sense, the results of the Stanford study aren't too shocking; after all, doctors prefer to use laparoscopic techniques for many types of surgeries, including procedures to repair the knee, pelvis, or gallbladder. But it's reassuring for patients who are struggling with their weight to discover that they do have a medical treatment option that is minimally invasive, produces few complications, and is less expensive than traditional surgery.

Chris Martin is a freelance writer who writes about topics ranging from health tips to consumer finance to home improvement.

Photo credit: Tobyotter



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4 comments:

  1. surgery should be only used as a last resort

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kavita11:52 AM

    There is nothing wrong with having weight loss surgery.The first thing you have to do is get educated on the process.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A sensible balanced diet based on moderate quantities of foods that are low in fat will help most people to lose weight safely. The successful slimmer loses weight slowly and surely, and establishes a healthy eating and exercise pattern that will last a lifetime, so that weight loss is permanent.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Abhijit2:24 PM

    KEEP TRACK of what you eat and what you burn.

    ReplyDelete

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