For the last decade, laparoscopic procedures have been used in a variety of general surgeries. Many people mistakenly believe that these techniques are still “experimental.” Laparoscopy, however, has become the predominant technique in some areas of surgery and has been used for weight loss surgery for several years. Although few weight loss surgeons perform laparoscopic weight loss surgeries, more are offering patients this less invasive surgical option whenever possible.
Laparoscopic procedures for weight loss surgery use the same principles as their “open” counterparts and produce similar excess weight loss. Not all patients are candidates for this approach, just as all weight loss surgeons are not trained in the advanced techniques required performing this less invasive method. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery recommends that laparoscopic weight loss surgery should only be performed by surgeons who are experienced in both laparoscopic and open bariatric procedures.
This technique can reduce operation times and recovery times without sacrificing the value of the weight loss surgery.
When a laparoscopic operation is performed, small video camera and surgical instruments are inserted through small incisions made in the abdominal wall. The surgeon views the procedure on a separate video monitor. This gives surgeon better visualization and access to the surgical field. This approach is considered less invasive because it replaces the need for one long incision (at least 10 cm long) to open the abdomen. In addition, visualization and identification of the field is less than laparoscopic field.
Advantages of Laparoscopic surgery over Open surgery:
- More magnification of the surgical field with more meticulous surgical steps.
- Less operative time.
- Early recovery of the patient.
- Reduced post-operative pain resulting in easier breathing and lung function.
- Fewer wound complications, such as infection or hernia.
- Faster return to work.
- Shorter hospital stay.
- Better cosmetic results.