The goal of bariatric surgery is to live better, healthier, and longer. The technically advanced, experienced surgeons at Bluegrass Bariatrics feel strongly that surgery for the debilitating, chronic disease of morbid obesity should be performed in the safest, least invasive means possible. That is why we perform all of our bariatric procedures laparoscopically, a technically challenging minimally invasive method proven to have less complications than traditional “open” bariatric surgical procedure.
During the laparoscopic procedure, a tiny video camera and surgical instruments are inserted into the abdomen through several very small incisions. The surgeon performs the entire procedure via observation through the camera. The laparoscope, which is connected to the video camera, provides the surgeon with a magnified, more precise view of the patient’s abdominal area.
Patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery typically experience far fewer complications than those that undergo open surgery. They report less pain, fewer side effects, and quicker return to normal activities and work than with the open procedures. We bring experience in performing thousands of these procedures exclusively laparoscopically with the lowest complication rates in the state. We can almost always perform your surgery laparoscopically (minimally invasively) even if another bariatric surgeon has told you that you are not a candidate for laparoscopic bariatric surgery. You owe it to yourself to seek a second opinion with Bluegrass Bariatrics before proceeding with an open surgery known to have increased complications and longer hospital stays. We have heard all types of misleading reasons that open or inexperienced laparoscopic bariatric surgeons give for why you cannot have your surgery done laparoscopically. These include such excuses as “you’re too big”, “you’re too short or tall”, “they can’t see as well laparoscopically”, “you have too much scar tissue”, “you’ve had a previous open or laparoscopic procedure” and “we would need to use too much gas to inflate your abdomen”. Be aware that in most instances, none of these statements are true for advanced laparoscopic bariatric surgeons, and once again, you owe it to yourself to talk to us before you proceed with an open procedure based on one of these false assumptions. Previous open or laparoscopic surgeries such as gallbladder surgery, C-section, hysterectomy, appendectomy, splenectomy, and pelvic surgery (such as on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or for endometriosis) are generally NOTcontraindications to laparoscopic bariatric surgery in our hands.
The Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding System is an adjustable silicone banding device that is fastened around the upper end of the stomach to create a smaller stomach reservoir (pouch). We use United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved bands – The LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Band made by Allergan and the REALIZE™ Band by Johnson & Johnson.
In this procedure, the surgeon makes several small incisions through which the laparoscopic instruments are inserted to place and fasten the LAGB around the upper portion of the stomach. There is a small port attached to the band that is secured to the underlying abdominal muscle that is easily accessible for adjustments. Adjustments to the band are done in the office and take only a few minutes. Adjustments are performed after numbing the skin and do not require any sedation.
Patients usually require a few adjustments to the band over the next few months depending upon their individual needs. This procedure functionally restricts the size of the stomach and is considered a gastric restrictive procedure, although some suggest when it’s appropriately adjusted, it does decrease one’s appetite, as well. Of note, with this limited intake, if you eat too much at one meal, you may feel discomfort and may even vomit until you learn the capacity of your “new” stomach. The difference between this and other restrictive bariatric procedures is that the restrictive effect can be adjusted. This is currently the only bariatric procedure we offer that can be adjusted without surgery in the post-operative period. Weight loss occurs by restricted intake – the smaller stomach pouch creates the sensation of fullness earlier (satiety), thereby decreasing the desire for food and limiting the volume of food one is capable of consuming at one time.
The procedure takes about 45 minutes and is usually done under full anesthesia as an outpatient. There is no cutting or bypassing of the stomach in this procedure. At the time of surgery, it is the safest of the procedures offered by BBSA. Weight loss is more gradual than other bariatric procedures and eating high calorie liquid or soft foods can circumvent the procedure. There is no malabsorption of nutrients, no “leaks”, and no “dumping”.
The usual hospital stay is just a few hours or possibly overnight depending on your insurance. Weight loss with the Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding System is reported at 35-68% of excess body weight, generally over a 3 to 5 year period. Health problems associated with excess weight are also usually benefited or resolved. Lastly, the Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band is easily reversible/removed and can be laparoscopically converted to any other weight loss surgery procedure (such as a sleeve or bypass)if needed or desired.