How Is Weight Loss Surgery Performed?
When people become overweight or obese, they are generally told to eat less and move more. However, it is now quite clear that this is not realistic advice for someone who is morbidly obese, having a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or more. People like this have areas of fat that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise alone if they can exercise at all that is. Furthermore, they will develop a number of health conditions that make it even harder for them to work out and eat less. For them, weight loss surgery is often the only available option out there.
How Bariatric Surgery Is Performed
There are around eight different accepted types of weight loss surgery, with the gastric balloon being one of the most popular ones. Although different surgeons will have personal preferences in terms of which procedure they prefer, they can only perform all of them in one of three ways. Those are:
- Restrictive methods, whereby the size of the stomach is surgically reduced to limit food intake.
- Malabsorptive methods, whereby the small intestine is diverted so that the body isn’t able to absorb as many calories.
- Restrictive and malabsorptive methods, whereby the two options are being combined. A smaller stomach is first created, and this is then rerouted to the small intestine.
Open Surgery and Laparoscopic Surgery
Bariatric surgery used to always be performed as open surgery, with a single, large incision across the abdomen. This led to serious complications and pain in the patients, however, as well as a long recovery time. This is why more surgeons are now looking at laparoscopic procedures instead. When done laparoscopically, a total of five small incisions is made, through which the surgery is performed. The newest technique is the Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery, or SILS, technique, whereby a single incision is made in the belly button. This technique is still quite new, and not many surgeons are able to perform it yet.
Overall, however, any type of laparoscopic procedure is always better than open surgery. This is because patients have much less pain after their procedure and recover much quicker as well. This means that the goal of the procedure, to make people healthier and happier, is achieved much slower as well. In terms of recovery time, open surgery usually takes several weeks. With laparoscopic procedures, by contrast, people can often go home the very next day, instead of requiring several weeks in the hospital.
As the world of medical techniques develops, so do the skills and knowledge of doctors. This is because they are committed to their continuous professional education. As such, it is unlikely that a bariatric surgeon has not yet been trained on laparoscopic procedures and they are most likely in the process of receiving training in SILS. However, do make sure you look into this before you decide to go under the knife, regardless of whether that is through a single large incision, five small ones, or one in the belly button.