Americans by the millions are going on diets, running, stepping and crunching to
Work off those excess pounds. Unfortunately, there are many young to middle-aged
Adults whose health is being jeopardized by morbid obesity – people who are at
Least 100 pounds overweight or twice their ideal weight. This excess weight often
Limits their ability to succeed and move ahead in both business and social
Situations. They also risk such life-threatening conditions as diabetes,
Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, orthopedic problems, gall bladder disease and
Bariatric Surgery offers new hope
While numerous medical therapeutical approaches to morbid obesity have been
Advocated, including low-calorie diets, drugs, behavioral modification and exercise
Therapy, the majority of patients fail to maintain the reduced body weight. The only
Treatment proven effective in the long-term management of morbid obesity is
Bariatric surgery – such as a gastric bypass or the new gastric banding procedure.
New non-invasive techniques allow for faster, better recovery
Many morbidly obese patients are attributable to under gastric bypass surgery–
Traditionally an open, invasive procedure. But thanks to new, minimally invasive
Surgical techniques, this "last-resort" procedure has become more appealing.
The non-invasive techniques use tiny slits in the abdomen that allow a surgeon to
Insert a camera-equipped scope and surgical instruments to perform surgical
Procedures. These techniques are equally successful and offer many added patient
Benefits. These benefits include less post-operative pain, reduced risk of wound
Infection, a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and a more rapid improvement in
Quality of life. There are basically two types of laparoscopic surgeries to treat
Extreme weight loss.
Gastric Bypass … proven, effective, but irreversible
The most commonly known, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, involves refashioning the
Stomach into a small pouch and bypassing part of the small intestine. This not only
Limits the absorption of food but also produces a feeling of fullness in less time.
Although Roux-en-Y has been used for years with clinical results attesting to its
Effectiveness, the procedure is irreversible and patients are advised to thoroughly
Discuss its risk factors with their doctors.
Lap-Band Surgery … simpler, reversible with less risk
A newer, less extreme alternative is Lap-Band surgery, or adjustable gastric
Banding. Approved by the FDA just last year, the procedure involves less risk than
The Roux-en-Y. Instead of bypassing the stomach, a "balloon" is banded around the
Stomach to produce an early feeling of fullness. The balloon-like device is inserted
Through a small incision and inflate it with saline solution to cinch the stomach and
Limit its capacity. The operation takes about 60 minutes and usually requires a one-
Day hospital stay. The band can later be tightened or loosened as needed – without
Further surgery – by adjusting the amount of saline solution through a portal under
The patient's skin. The device can even be removed entirely if necessary. Reduced
Risk, simplicity and reversal make the Lap-Band more attractive to today's
How much weight will I lose? How soon?
Results depend on a variety of factors and vary with each patient.
Most gastric bypass patients experience fairly rapid weight loss in the first three to
Six months after surgery. Weight loss slows, but generally lasts up to 12 to 18
Months after surgery, averaging 65 to 75 percent of excess body weight. With the
Lap-Band, weight loss is generally slower and more gradual compared to the gastric
Bypass. Typically, patients lose up to 55 percent of their excess body weight within
18 months following laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery. The normal
Hospital stay for Lap-Band patients is one day with a return to most activities in
Surgery is only the first step
Regardless of procedure, a team approach is recommended for solving a patient's
Weight problem. This includes a comprehensive evaluation and support before and
After surgery for the greatest chance of weight loss success. The operation itself is
Not the whole answer. A multidisciplinary approach – surgeon, internist, dietician
And psychiatrist – is needed to help the patient lose and keep weight off. The goal is
Not only weight loss, but the reversal of serious medical conditions.
Is it covered by my insurance?
Most insurance carriers will cover a laparoscopic gastric bypass if you are eligible
For the procedure. Insurance coverage for laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is
Variable and will depend on your insurance.
Source by Alex Kecskes