What is Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery has come a long way since a medieval doctor sewed a man’s mouth shut to help him lose weight. As obesity and morbid obesity becomes more common, understanding that weight loss surgery is more about health than cosmetic. This has led to some technological advances in the world of bariatric procedures.
Laparoscopic Weight Loss Surgery
When weight loss surgery began to gain wide popularity, it was usually performed with “open” surgery. Patients would be put under general anesthesia, the stomach would be opened with one long incision, and the procedure would begin. Although every situation is different, patients may require up to six weeks of recovery time via open surgery.
With laparoscopic surgery, many patients can return to normal day to day activities in a few days. The difference is instead of one large incision, several tiny incisions are made in the abdomen. With less healing time, less rehab time, and less downtime, this type of surgery is performed in 99 percent of WeightWise surgeries.
The first laparoscopic gastric bypass was performed in 1994. Less than 20 years later, more than 340,000 such surgeries were performed annually. The procedure involves one incision for a small camera and other incisions for the surgical instruments. Using the camera, there is no reason to open a patient up like before.
With a smaller incision, there just isn’t the need for an extended stay at a health care facility. Typically, our patients stay at the hospital for two nights. Once released, you are free to grocery shop, walk, or return to work if there is little physical exertion.
There are some cases when laparoscopic surgery isn’t recommended or is unavailable. During your initial consultation, one of our surgeons will discuss the pros and cons of each bariatric surgery, review your health history, discuss the step by step process to operation, and educate you over their recommendations.
Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
In addition to living a healthier lifestyle through the WeightWise program, many health issues have been reduced or even removed via bariatric surgery. Type 2 diabetes often goes into remission after a procedure and serious cases of sleep apnea have been known to disappear in some cases.
Risk of coronary heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure is greatly reduced after weight-loss surgery, as well as joint pain, relief of depression, and just overall well-being. At WeightWise, laparoscopic surgery is just one step to a new, healthier you. For many, the procedure is the easy part. Because what follows is a complete change in lifestyle.
During the first few weeks after weight-loss surgery, WeightWise dietitians give patients a strict all-liquid diet. You can consume protein supplements at this time as well. Do not start taking any vitamins until you attend the two week post-op diet class.
During this class, you will be educated over bariatric vitamins, the way the diet progresses, and the lifestyle eating habits. Don’t gulp the water! Your stomach won’t be able to handle large volumes. Take small sips throughout the day because you’ll need 96 ounces of liquid to stay hydrated.
As the body adapts to the surgery and the reduced intake of food, it begins to change hormonally. You’ll feel full faster, reduce hunger pangs, and adjust to your new lifestyle. In a couple of weeks, soft foods are introduced, including lean protein. The amount of food will be greatly reduced, though.
The third leg of the weight-loss stool is an exercise routine with achievable goals to start. WeightWise exercise physiologists will find out any injuries that might prevent you from working out and develop a plan that’s perfect for you. Although some of our patients have gone on to run half marathons, you’ll be starting much slower.
You will be focusing on two major areas: cardiovascular health and flexibility. As with any workout routine, make sure to check with your doctor first and GO SLOW. Doing too much at the start could cause injury or affect the surgery. In this case, slow and steady wins the race. Soon enough you’ll have more energy and look forward to 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
A Quick History of Bariatric Surgery
Weight loss surgery has taken many forms over the past decades and even centuries. The first known attempt at a procedure was in the 10th century when a doctor sewed the lips of a patient closed. Leaving just enough room for a straw to take in herbs and opium, the patient lost half his weight!
Over the centuries, being overweight has held a different significance. Those with a more ample carriage were thought of as being well to do because it meant they could afford food. More shapely models were sought after in the mid-19th century, the supermodels of the time.
Over the past 30 or 40 years, however, obesity has become a major health concern in the U.S. and elsewhere. Different procedures have been employed with varying success. Liposuction – literally sucking the fat out of a body – was a fast, short-term solution.
Tummy tucks, where excess skin is removed, was a more cosmetic procedure. Even wiring the jaw shut to prevent solid foods from being eaten was used to combat obesity. In most cases, however, the weight was regained once the apparatus was removed.
Bariatric surgery, where the digestive system of a person was altered, began appearing in the 1950s, steadily improved and began to gain widespread use over the last three decades. The objective of bariatric surgery is to create a long-term solution to weight loss by altering the size of the stomach and decreasing hunger.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
There are several types of bariatric surgery, each with their own specific way of limiting the amount of food or drink that can be accepted at one time. There is no one “perfect” type of surgery that is right for everyone. That’s why a rigorous screen process proceeds almost any weight-loss surgery.
The gastric sleeve is when a large portion of the stomach (up to 80 percent) is removed, leaving behind a slender tube or sleeve. This procedure will start hormonal changes in the body, adapting to the smaller amount of food and drink intake, and reducing those hunger pangs that sometimes get the best of us.
Also known as a roux en y gastric bypass surgery, this is when portions of the small intestine are bypassed during the digestion process. Part of your stomach is also removed from the equation and will never see food or drink again. This creates a small pouch that the food will enter.
The food will bypass the start of the small intestine, entering later on down the line. The gastric bypass is considered the “gold standard” of bariatric surgery because it has been so successful for so long. Although it may not be the most popular procedure now, more research has been done on gastric bypass than any other surgery.
Single Anastamosis Duodenal Switch
In the “single anastomosis DS” or SADS procedure, part of the small intestine is divided only one time, just past the stomach, and a “loop” from the end of the small bowel is connected to the duodenum. This creates 300cm of a common channel.
The SADS operation is a modification of a well-known and very aggressive malabsorptive operation called the Duodenal Switch. By modifying the formal Duodenal Switch surgery, vitamin deficiencies, diarrhea, and malnutrition are minimized while the excellent weight loss and Type II Diabetes resolution remain high.
How long does it take to recover from laparoscopic surgery?
How long it takes to recover from laparoscopic surgery depends on each patient. Many are on the path to recovery within 1-2 weeks. If you or a loved one are considering the duodenal switch and laparoscopic surgery, watch our free online seminar. You’ll learn more about our program and why it has been so successful for so many of our patients. When you’re ready to turn your health around, we’ll be here for you.