Gastric Bypass - The Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery has been around for more than 50 years and is now the most widely performed method of weight loss surgery. This article examines the benefits of laparoscopic gastric bypass over traditional open surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery is the most commonly carried out operation for weight loss in north America with approximately 140,000 surgeries being carried out each year With a history dating back in excess of 50 years, a large number of surgeons have grown up with gastric bypass surgery and have developed an excellent understanding of both its risks and benefits.
For most people gastric bypass surgery is the final option when other forms of dieting and weight loss have proved unsuccessful and where you are much overweight. This ordinarily means that you have a body mass index (BMI) over 40, or over 35 with an accompanying condition which increases the risk of premature death or disability. These conditions would include obstructive sleep apnea, hypertension, heart disease and liver disease amongst others. More simply, this equates to being about 100 pounds more than your ideal weight.
The rationale behind gastric bypass surgery is simply to bring down the size of the stomach and bypass the larger portion of the stomach, and part of the intestine, physically restricting your ability to eat excessively and also reducing the body's absorption of the food that is eaten.
While open gastric bypass surgery is still frequently carried out a growing number of surgeons are turning to the laparoscopic approach and, although this requires a great deal of training and expertise on the surgeon's part, there are many advantages to this approach. These include:
1. As patients are on their feet rapidly there is less risk of pneumonia, bed sores, blood clots and other complications commonly associated with immobility.
2. As only a few (commonly 5) very small incisions during this form of procedure the healing time following surgery is much reduced, together with the risk of infection and of the complications of a subsequent hernia.
3. There is considerably less post-operative pain and what little pain there is needs only mild painkillers such as tylenol and codeine.
4. As the laprascopic procedure is quicker than open surgery the patient spends less time in theatre and needs less anesthesia, producing fewer anesthesia-related complications.
5. This form of surgery permits greater precision because surgery is performed under magnification and surgeons can observe details not visible during open surgery.
6. This form of surgery allows you to go back to work in a quite short timeframe, generally as little as one week although it is suggested that patients do not go back to work for approximately two weeks for safety.
Gastric bypass surgery produces a significant improvement in the quality of life for patients and also has the additional benefit of improving, or in many cases of curing, hypertension, heartburn, sleep apnea, diabetes, headache and other disorders.
The fact that the procedure can now be performed so much more easily and can leave patients comparatively pain free and have them up and about rapidly means that an increasing number of people are likely to make use of gastric bypass surgery and enjoy a healthier and happier lifestyle.
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