You avoid stepping on the scale because you know you need to lose weight. But every fad diet, exercise program, or even weight loss supplements never seem to provide lasting results. Sound familiar? An estimated 80 percent of people who try to lose weight this way end up gaining back any weight they lose, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

belly_shortFortunately, a surgical technique now used in weight reduction surgeries for overweight and obese people can help you lose weight and keep it off for good. It’s called Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery. If you want to enjoy life in Westchester, live longer, and feel better, you owe it to yourself to find out if you’re a candidate for weight reduction surgery.

What is Lap Band Surgery

lapband1 It’s a lot less complicated than it might sound. Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery is a technique that surgeons use to complete once-invasive surgeries like Lap Band or sleeve gastrectomy surgery with one small, single incision.

 

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The Process. When Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery is used for Lap Band and sleeve gastrectomy surgery, the entire procedure is completed through one small incision (about an inch wide usually made inside your belly button). Medical tools equipped with tiny cameras provide the surgeon with a multi-angle view of the stomach to apply the LapBand or resize the stomach for a sleeve gastrectomy. You’ll be under anesthesia during the surgery which takes about two hours in the operating room for Lap Band and sleeve gastrectomy surgeries.

Benefits

If you are obese or overweight and have a chronic health condition, Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery can help you lose weight, improve your health and mortality. Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery makes Lap Band and sleeve gastrectomy surgeries safer and easier. Other benefits of Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery identified by the the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons include:

One small scar – Before Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery was used, weight reduction surgeries often required multiple or large incisions. This new technique makes it possible to perform weight loss surgery through a small incision, leaving patients with just one small scar.

Limited pain post-surgery – With only a single incision needed to complete the surgery, patients experience less pain during the recovery process.

Lower risk of infection – Medical staff take every precaution possible to minimize the risk of infection during surgery. Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery also helps lower the risk of infection with only one small access point or incision made to complete the surgery.

Decrease in chronic disease – Being obese or overweight can have a negative impact on your self-esteem, mobility, and quality of life. Carrying too much weight also significantly increases your risk for many chronic diseases. Research shows that most people who receive weight reduction surgery lose about 50 percent of their excess body fat and maintain long-term weight loss.

In addition to weight loss, Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery can help:

  • Control blood glucose levels linked to type 2 diabetes
  • Lower high blood pressure or hypertension
  • Improve or restore sexual function
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Improve quality of life
  • As patients lose weight and eat healthier following surgery, risks for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke also decrease

Recovery Time

In most cases, the risk for complications in weight reduction procedures when Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery is used is rare. In the Journal of Minimal Access Surgery, researchers looked at 11 weight reduction studies that involved 114 patients. Only one patient experienced complications following Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery for weight loss.

While the risks for complications are small, it’s important to know what they are. Problems that can occur include allergic reactions to medications, internal bleeding, or complications linked to pre-existing health conditions.

After Lap Band surgery, the band placed around the stomach can slip and require adjustments. In some cases, the band can deteriorate over time or grow into the stomach and require additional surgery.

After sleeve gastrectomy surgery, leaking where sutures were made to resize the stomach can occur. In some cases, patients have developed a stomach-related abscess or poor circulation after surgery. However, less than 5 percent of people who receive weight reduction surgery develop major complications.

It’s common to experience some digestive discomfort and changes in appetite following surgery. But in most cases these problems are resolved within a couple of months as your body adjusts to your diet and eating habits.

 

Risks

One of the primary risks associated with any surgery is the risk of infection. Fortunately, the risk for infection is very low with Single Laparoscopic Incision Surgery for weight loss, according to a study published in the Journal of Minimal Access Surgery.

Other risks include:

  • Negative reaction to anesthesia or medications
  • Internal bleeding during/after surgery
  • Complications during surgery related to other underlying health problems
  • Bowel discomfort, and digestive problems following surgery
  • Lap-Band – Band slippage or deterioration
  • Sleeve gastrectomy – Leaking, abscess infection, limited blood flow in stomach

It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery for weight loss, but complications are rare. In fact, the Obesity Action Coalition found that complications occur in less than five percent of weight loss surgeries.

Diet Plan After Surgery

One of the biggest changes patients notice after Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery for weight loss is decreased appetite. With your stomach a smaller size after Lap Band or sleeve gastrectomy surgery, you’ll have to adjust your diet:

Weeks 1-2 – After surgery, you’ll follow a liquid-only diet for the first couple of weeks. That means you’ll drink water to stay hydrated and eat foods like broth, non-fat or skim milk, and liquid yogurt.

Weeks 3-4 – Once you’ve made progress on a liquid-only diet, you can introduce pureed foods. At this stage, some people choose to eat baby food made with fruits and vegetables or mashed potatoes.

Weeks 5-6 – After about a month following surgery, you should be able to start eating small amounts of soft food. Try eggs, fish, lean meat, cooked beans in very small amounts.

Expect some stomach and bowel discomfort following surgery as you adjust your diet. It takes a little trial and error for most people to figure out proper portion sizes and what kinds of foods they can tolerate after surgery.

Follow-Up After Surgery

You’ll meet with your doctor periodically after Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery to evaluate your progress, measure weight loss, and address any complications or concerns.

After Lap Band surgery – You’ll need to see your doctor every 3-4 months after surgery for a Lap Band adjustment during the first year. After that, you should see your doctor every six months after Lap Band surgery.

After Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery – You’ll see your doctor 2-3 weeks after surgery, and again 5-6 weeks after surgery. After the initial recovery period, you should meet with your doctor every 3 months during the first year.

If you’re obese or overweight and live in the Westchester area, and you’re ready to lose weight, keep it off, and change your life, contact the New York Bariatric Group about Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery for weight reduction.