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What Are the Pros and Cons of Laparoscopic Obesity Surgery?

Laparoscopic obesity surgery is less invasive than other types of bariatric procedures.
A scalpel is a small, sharp knife that is used in surgeries to make incisions.
Article Details
  • Written By: Jami Yontz
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 10 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are many pros and cons associated with laparoscopic obesity surgery, a popular type of bariatric surgery for patients facing life-threatening illnesses and conditions due to obesity. The surgery is less invasive than other types of bariatric procedures, does not remove any part of the stomach or reroute the digestive system, and can be reversed. Patients who undergo this surgery do face risks including blood clots and infection, and the band may disintegrate or move from its original position, possibly becoming harmful or affecting the patient's ability to eat food.

Laparoscopic surgery involves inserting a gastric band through very small incisions. Surgical instruments with cameras are inserted through the incisions to allow the surgeon wrap the band around the upper stomach. This procedure, also known as a lap band surgery, creates a small pouch that acts as the new, smaller stomach, preventing the person from overeating. The pouch also slows down the draining of the stomach, which makes the person feel fuller for a longer period of time.

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Unlike other gastric surgery options, gastric banding does not remove part of the stomach or reroute the stomach to connect with the lower end of the small intestine. A laparoscopic obesity surgery does not change the way the body processes food, removing the possibility of nutritional deficiencies. The balloon inserted into the small pouch can be inflated and deflated to better tailor a patient’s weight loss needs, and the procedure is reversible. Laparoscopic bariatric surgery has a shorter recovery time than other procedures, which take two to three weeks longer to return to normal activities.

Laparoscopic surgery may also have other benefits as a result of the weight loss from the months and years following the procedure. Maintaining a healthy weight has helped patients stop blood pressure medications and lower their cholesterol. Those with type II diabetes are able to maintain more normal blood sugar levels and prevent the disease from progressing. Those who suffer from sleep apnea, asthma, and joint and back pain also find relief from their symptoms that were caused by excessive weight.

The procedure does have risks, and a major change in lifestyle in required of those who undergo the surgery. Laparoscopic obesity surgery could cause blood clots to form, and there is a risk of infection. The band can be eroded or move from its original location. This surgical procedure will cause a major life change because the smaller stomach only allows the person to take in small amounts of food at a time, and a person must completely chew their food.

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