Laparoscopic Weight Loss Surgery

Laparoscopic weight loss surgery offers patients a safe and effective health opportunity. Many other options are available including liposuction and extreme diet plans, but stomach surgery for weight loss using laparoscopy has proven to be the safest route. Four small incisions are made in the patient's abdomen and an illuminated camera is inserted to give the surgeon a great look at the patient. Using the camera and light gives the patient and surgeon confidence that a better outcome will happen than if it wasn't used at all. The statistics prove a higher success rate in patients who have undergone stomach surgery for weight loss using this technique.

Eligibility for this procedure is dependant on the overall health of the patient. Factors that are considered include BMI, overall health, and past experience. BMI, or Body Mass Index, is calculated by multiplying your weight by 705. Divide the result by your height in inches. Divide by your height again. If this number comes out higher than 40, a person may be eligible. Discuss overall health with a physician to determine eligibility as well. There are some conditions that could be corrected or improved by undergoing stomach surgery for weight loss including high blood pressure, back pain, and heart disease. Keep in mind that this operation is simply a tool. Changes in diet and exercise habits are crucial to the overall success of a patient. "Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:" (Matthew 7:24)

Health benefits are a major factor when deciding whether or not to undergo this type of operation. Many positive results come from healthy eating habits and exercise including the possibility of a longer, healthier life. Take time to evaluate the motivation and overall commitment. If a person has lived a life of eating junk food and only enjoys watching movies for recreation it may be very difficult to undergo such a drastic lifestyle change. Counselors for nutrition and exercise are available to help anyone develop the needed steps toward success. Creating a set of goals and a plan on how to achieve them before seeing a doctor specializing in laparoscopic weight loss surgery will help a potential patient understand and feel confident in their reasoning for undergoing stomach weight loss surgery. Complications can occur in any operation and should be addressed. Though operations such as this are known to be the safest and most successful, educated patients will benefit if something goes wrong. Talk with the surgeon about possible problems including leaking of stomach fluids after surgery, incomplete removal of the stomach area, and improper reconstruction. Addressing the possibility of these with the doctor beforehand will calm a patient, which will result in a better overall outcome.

Discussing cost with a supporting physician or even the surgeon is a crucial step in the success of the operation. Most insurance companies are now covering laparoscopic weight loss surgery because of the high population of extremely obese people in the country as well as the health concerns that come from morbid obesity. Check with the insurance company before scheduling any appointments because some insurance companies require a letter of recommendation from a physician or a complete physical showing need for laparoscopic weight loss surgery. It is important to do things in order to get the most out of the insurance claim. If insurance coverage is not an option there are many lenders specifically designed for medical loans as well as payment plans most doctor offices will comply to. Research many doctors before making any appointments beyond a consultation. It is important to evaluate the overall establishment before agreeing to a surgeon. The support staff before and after stomach surgery for weight loss is just as important as the surgeon himself. Because operations such as this are only a tool in overall weight loss, the nutritionist and fitness planners play a key role in the patients success. The most important information to get from a potential doctor is their overall record of stomach surgery for weight loss and how many have been performed. The amount is a great tool in deciding how experience a doctor has, but the success rate of those patients is even more important. Make sure there is only a small amount (if any) of patients that come back for reconstructive surgery or have any complications at all. With the rising numbers of surgeons with this specialty it is reasonable to be picky.

Other options are available with similar outcomes. Lapband surgery offers patients the opportunity to have a removable and adjustable procedure done to achieve the same results, which can also be done laparoscopically. In addition, liposuction is an option, but does not offer the same results and will most likely not be covered by insurance companies. Good diet and exercise should always be the first option. Talking with a nutritionist and a personal trainer helps to develop an overall plan toward a healthier life. With laparoscopic weight loss surgery, a good diet and exercise program is essential to success. With our without the surgery lifestyle changes need to happen to change the course of obesity. Creating realistic, yet drastic goals is important to the success of and weight loss program. Some examples are lower cholesterol, run with the grandkids, or simply fit into a favorite outfit. Whatever the goal, it most likely centers on bettering health and life in general. A strong support system outside that of the doctors office also aids in the success of the patient. Friends, family, and people who have gone through similar experiences are important to include in the support network.

Laparascopic Gastric Bypass

Less invasive than bariatric surgery, a laparascopic gastric bypass, also known as "lap band" surgery, places a prosthetic device around the upper stomach to restrict the amount of food patients consume. Morbidly obese men and women may choose to have lap band surgery after failing to lose weight with less dramatic diet and exercise programs. Aside from feelings of low self-esteem, overweight individuals may suffer from debilitating and chronic illness associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes, and osteoarthritis. Over time, excessive weight can place too much pressure on the skeletal structure, especially weight-bearing hips, knees and joints; and too much stress on the lungs, heart and kidneys. Obese individuals are also at increased risk of stroke, cardiovascular heart disease, or congestive heart failure.

As a drastic weight-loss measure, patients choose high-risk surgeries, such as bariatric gastric bypass, a procedure to decrease the size of the stomach or cause malabsorption of food. Gastric bypass procedures are highly effective in causing morbidly obese patients to lose weight, usually as much as 100 pounds. However, the side effects include death due to complications, infection at the incision, and the loss of nutrients due to malabsorption. Bypass patients must continue to take multivitamins for the rest of their lives to supplement lost nutrients. All types of gastric bypass surgery are invasive and involve cutting or removing part of the digestive system. Biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) and duodenal switch (DS) both involved creating a smaller pouch from the patient's normal sized stomach or restructuring intestines to re-route food to bypass the duodenum. Surgically stapling or cutting the stomach can cause complications and a distressful syndrome called "dumping," when patients try to consume more food the smaller stomach can hold. However, laparascopic gastric bypass does not result in dumping, has a lower degree of mortality, and does not result in malabsorption of vital nutrients.

Laparascopic gastric bypass is less invasive because surgeons perform procedures through the patients' navel cavity using a much smaller incision than other gastrointestinal operations. Surgeons place an inflatable band made from silicone around the top of the patient's upper stomach to restrict the amount of food consumed. After surgery, the band is filled with saline solution, making the opening to the stomach even smaller. Surgeons work with patients to properly fit the band, making adjustments through a port just under the skin, until there is an optimum space through which food can pass. Similar to bariatric gastric bypass procedures, laparascopic gastric bypass procedures create a smaller upper stomach which fills up with food quickly, creating a feeling of fullness before food can reach the lower stomach. Patients eat less and gradually lose pounds. Weight loss with lap band surgery tends to be more gradual and less dramatic than bariatric procedures; however studies indicate that ultimately, patients can lose nearly the same amount of excess pounds.

The benefits of laparascopic gastric bypass are fewer complications, lower degree of morbidity, less invasive incisions, the ability of patients to consume food and process nutrients without dumping, and the adjustabiliity of the lap band post-operatively according to a patient's individual need. Another positive feature of laparascopic gastric bypass is that the band can be removed in the case of women who desire to become pregnant or after patients achieve a desired weight. Unlike baratric gastric bypass procedures, which permanently alter the structure of the intestines and stomach, lap band surgery is completely reversible. Prior to deciding to become pregnant, women can have the band removed in order to get the nutritional benefits of food necessary to carry a fetus to full term. Pregnancy is not the time to be dieting, but to allow the body to prepare itself to conceive and provide vital nutrients through the umbilical cord and placenta, which can only be derived through an optimum diet. After delivering a healthy baby, overweight Moms who are not breastfeeding may elect to have lap bands replaced.

While laparascopic gastric bypass has fewer complications than other procedures, negative side effects exist. Patients may experience what is termed, "productive burping," or regurgitating undigested foods. Morbidly obese patients have to modify their eating habits to slowly chew food and take in less air and smaller amounts to avoid productive burping. Anyone who has struggled with being overweight knows that re-focusing the mind on something other than consuming food is also crucial to adhering to a diet and exercise program. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4b). Blockages can also be formed in the upper stomach if portions are too large to pass through the smaller banded stomach opening. Possible side effects also include stomach ulcers; inflammation of the stomach lining, or gastritis; regurgitation after band placement, as patients adjust to smaller stomachs; frequent "fills," or band adjustments; lap band slippage; or an erosion of the lap band, as the device is gradually absorbed through the delicate walls of the stomach. Leaks in the gastric wall can also cause bleeding and require immediate surgery.

Overweight men and women considering laparascopic gastric bypass should consult with physicians and surgeons and explore all options. Surgeons require patients to have a Body Mass Index of over 40 and a history of being morbidly obese for at least five years. Doctors prefer patients to be 18 to 55 years of age. Insurance companies may cover weight loss surgery, especially for patients suffering from debilitating or chronic diseases associated with being overweight. Agencies require patients to undergo a six-month, physician-assisted diet and exercise program; submit documentation of chronic illness; and forward a physician's letter recommending weight-loss surgery to correct morbid obesity. Upon approval, physicians are given the red light to schedule surgeries; and patients begin the process of shedding unwanted pounds to experience a healthier life.

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