Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Minimal Access Bariatric Surgery

According to surgeon John Morton, of Stanford Hospitals & Clinics in California, the creation of several small incisions to perform surgeries such as laparoscopic bariatric surgery will become less and less common, as surgeons make one or no incision to perform bariatric surgery. Using one or no incision will likely produce less trauma for a patient and shorten a patient’s recovery time. Morton calls the surgery that uses one or no incisions “minimal access surgery.”

Morton performed minimal access surgery to revise a gastric bypass surgery. The surgery was done with the aid of an endoscope that was inserted into the throat, past the esophagus, into the stomach. Using a method called StomaphyX, pleats were formed in the gastric bypass stomach pouch, drawing the walls together so that the pouch became smaller. We discussed this revision method in our August 2, 2008 blog post.

Morton has also performed lap-band surgery via one incision in a patient’s belly button. Therefore, while laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is the most popular form of minimally invasive weight loss or bariatric surgery -- at least in the U.S., other forms of minimally invasive surgery are also being used.

As the different minimally invasive bariatric surgical methods gain more prominence, we will be able to compare the pros and cons of the different methods. And we will be able to compare the pros and cons of minimally invasive methods for bariatric surgery with open bariatric surgical methods.

At any rate, weight loss centers that want to use technology to reduce trauma, while receiving good surgical outcomes, should monitor and collaborate with organizations engaged in bariatric surgical technique development or use.


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