The study -- the first to evaluate how well patients fare from the surgery -- calls for more training of surgeons in the use of laparoscopy in surgery for the morbidly obese, as the minimally invasive techniques become more common. The study was presented at the recently held annual convention of the American College of Surgeons in San Francisco.
Dr. Ninh T. Nguyen, associate professor of surgery and chief, division of gastrointestinal surgery at UCI Medical Center, and his colleagues found that patients who underwent the surgery, known as laparoscopic gastric bypass, had a shorter operative time, reduced hospital stay and fewer complications when the surgeon had performed more than 75 procedures. The study also found that men and older patients were more susceptible to postoperative problems.
Patients in the study were considered morbidly obese with a body-mass index between 39 and 61. Currently a body-mass index greater than 25 is considered overweight and a body-mass index greater than 30 is considered obese.
Laparoscopic gastric bypass is becoming a popular technique for treating people who are morbidly obese. The new method shortens recovery time and reduces the risk of infection posed by traditional open surgeries. It involves making five small abdominal incisions. Then, a tiny scope and other instruments are inserted into the abdominal cavity. Part of the upper stomach is stapled to create a small pouch and the small intestine is rerouted and connected to the new pouch. About 57,000 Americans are expected to have either the traditional or laparoscopic operation this year.
"Laparoscopic gastric bypass is becoming a mainstream method for treatment of morbid obesity, which is increasing rap
Contact: Andrew Porterfield
University of California - Irvine