Weight loss surgery has been prevalent, especially with people who do not seem to respond to other weight loss plans and who are severely obese. These individuals usually need more aggressive management for weight loss, which may include surgery. The most common procedure done is bariatric surgery or the removal of a part of the stomach to make the space for food less, thereby promoting a feeling of fullness and preventing obese people from eating a lot.
However, all surgeries are not without any risks. This may include bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, and others. In particular, most significant operations for weight loss involve open surgery, which means a large incision in the abdomen. Rules indicate that the larger the incision, the higher are the risks associated. Based on this, weight loss surgeries that are minimally-invasive may provide weight loss benefits without the severe complications related to open operations.
A new study proved that minimally-invasive weight loss surgery is indeed safer than open surgery. The study involved 150,000 patients who underwent bariatric or gastric bypass surgery in the US.
A bariatric surgery or gastric bypass involves the creation of a pouch on the top portion of the stomach. This small pouch is then connected to the small intestine, and it acts as a healthy stomach to contain food. However, since the bag is already lower than the healthy stomach, it allows the obese person to consume fewer calories. The conventional way of doing gastric bypass is through open surgery to let surgeons to have a more direct view of the gastrointestinal system.
The open surgery requires a large incision to be created in the abdomen, which increases the risk of severe bleeding. Also, the larger incision allows more microorganisms to enter, leading to infection, possibly.
In minimally-invasive weight loss surgery, laparoscopic technique is used. In laparoscopic gastric bypass, the surgeon creates small holes in the abdomen; instead of a large gap, which makes the surgery less invasive. After the creation of holes, small instruments, together with a laparoscope or a small camera, are inserted to allow the surgeon to navigate through the abdomen. The surgeon usually establishes a clear view inside the stomach through the use of a monitor in which images are displayed from the small camera.
The Advantages of Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass
Laparoscopic gastric bypass provides advantages over open surgery including:
- Less pain
For patients, laparoscopic gastric bypass is less painful because of the presence of only small incisions. Larger incisions in open surgery cause more extensive inflammation, thereby leading to more intense pain.
- Faster recovery
Patients undergoing laparoscopic procedures also experience more rapid recovery due to the quicker healing of the wound. Patients are also able to assume activities of daily living sooner than those who undergo open surgeries. Ambulation, movement, and elimination are even more comfortable with laparoscopic gastric bypass.
- Cheaper hospitalization
Although laparoscopic gastric bypass is more costly than open procedures due to the expertise of the surgeon and the more delicate instruments used, the overall hospitalization cost is cheaper because of fewer hospitalization days as well as the absence of complications.
Patients have the full autonomy to choose whether to undergo laparoscopic or open surgery. People who plan to undergo gastric bypass must know the procedures very well to decide which is best. It is also necessary to discuss with your surgeon the process of gastric bypass to get ready for the surgery, whichever form you choose.