Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is known to be the most effective and long-lasting treatment for morbid obesity and many related clinical conditions. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) recognizes several procedures as appropriate remedies in the treatment of clinically significant obesity. This list includes:
- Restrictive procedures, where weight loss may be accomplished by limitation of caloric intake –Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding surgery (e.g. LAP-BAND® System) and Gastric Sleeve surgery
- Hybrid procedures which include both restrictive and malabsorptive components –Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass surgery
According to the clinical guidelines developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), weight loss surgery is reserved for those patients who need to lose a significant amount of weight and have tried other, non-surgical methods without long-term success. You may qualify for bariatric surgery if:
- You are at least 18 years old.
- You are at least 100 pounds overweight or your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 40 or higher (or at least 35 if you have one or more comorbidities – weight-related health conditions – such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems or sleep apnea)
- You are considering the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System and are at least 50 pounds overweight or your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 or higher, and you have one or more comorbidities – weight-related health conditions – such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems or sleep apnea
- You have been overweight for at least 5 years
- You have made serious weight loss attempts with other methods but only had short-term success
The Surgical Specialists of Louisiana are one of the few programs across the country in which patients have a choice among all of these weight loss surgery options. We believe that it is important to the long-term success of our surgical weight loss patients to have surgical options when choosing which surgery best fits your medical situation, comfort level and lifestyle.
Weight loss surgery is typically performed laparoscopically, or using minimally invasive techniques. Laparoscopic procedures are performed under general anesthesia, like open surgery, but result in less trauma to the body and shorter post-op recovery time. During a laparoscopic procedure, surgeons make several small incisions rather than one large incision, and use long, thin surgical instruments. A narrow video camera is also passed through one of these ports so that the surgeon can view the operative site on a nearby video monitor.