Take a taxi, ride the subway, book a reservation at a crowded restaurant, catch a flight at LaGuardia Airport. These are everyday activities for people who live or work in Manhattan. But if you’re overweight or obese, even daily activities like these can be challenging. Obesity also increases your risk for a long list of chronic diseases and early death. belly_shortIf you’ve tried dieting, skipping meals, weight loss supplements, and hyped-up exercise programs to lose weight without success, you’re not alone. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that 80 percent of all weight-loss diets end in failure. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery can help you lose weight, change your eating habits, and improve your health for good.

What is Lap Band Surgery

lapband1 It’s a major advancement in weight reduction surgery that makes it safer, more effective, and less invasive than it used to be. The technique allows a surgeon to restrict your stomach with the Lap-Band or resize your stomach with a sleeve gastrectomy through a single one-inch incision, usually made inside the belly button.       SILS_navel1 Technology makes it possible. Specialized medical tools with miniature video cameras are inserted through the one-inch incision to give your surgeon a high-resolution view of your stomach from multiple angles. With this technology, your surgeon can restrict your stomach with the Lap-Band or reduce the size of your stomach with sleeve gastrectomy.

Benefits

Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery was first developed about 20 years ago to make procedures like an appendectomy (appendix removal) or hysterectomy (removal of uterus) less invasive. Since then, it’s been applied to many other types of surgeries, including weight reduction procedures. In addition to being less invasive, there are many other benefits to Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery for weight reduction, according to the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons such as: Barely visible scaring – Weight loss surgeries once required large incisions or multiple incisions around the abdomen that left patients with significant scaring. With Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery weight reduction procedures can be completed with barely visible scaring. Minimal pain after surgery – General anesthesia will help you sleep during Lap-Band or sleeve gastrectomy surgery, so you won’t feel a thing. And with Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery, you’ll experience less pain following the procedure. Lower risk of infection – Your healthcare team takes every precaution possible to prevent infection during surgery by washing their hands with soap and water, using antiseptic, wearing protective clothing, and using sterilized tools. The one small incision made for Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery also helps reduce the risk of infection during and after surgery. Long-term weight loss – Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery is a highly effective technique proven to help control hunger and promote long-term weight loss. One recent study found that people who have Lap-Band or sleeve gastrectomy surgery lose about 50 percent of excess body fat and don’t gain the weight back. Better health – Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery can also help reduce the risk for many chronic diseases and health conditions linked to obesity like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and certain types of cancer. Weight loss following Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery can also improve mobility, boost self-esteem, and improve your quality of life.

Recovery Time

Recovery time following weight-loss surgery is a little different for everyone. The small incision made to complete the surgery usually heals in about a week. Recovery Time for Lap Band Surgery – It takes about two hours in surgery to restrict your stomach with the Lap-Band. After surgery, you’ll spend 1 or 2 nights in the hospital. Most Lap-Band patients take a week off after Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery, and resume normal activity after six weeks. Recovery Time for Sleeve Gastrectomy – It takes about two hours to resize your stomach in sleeve gastrectomy surgery. Afterwards, you’ll spend 1 or 2 nights in the hospital. Most patients take a week or two off after surgery, and resume normal activities in about two months.

Risks

One of the primary risks associated with any surgery is the risk of infection. Fortunately, the risk for infection is very low with Single Laparoscopic Incision Surgery for weight loss, according to a study published in the Journal of Minimal Access Surgery. Other risks include:

  • Negative reaction to anesthesia or medications
  • Internal bleeding during/after surgery
  • Complications during surgery related to other underlying health problems
  • Bowel discomfort, and digestive problems following surgery
  • Lap-Band – Band slippage or deterioration
  • Sleeve gastrectomy – Leaking, abscess infection, limited blood flow in stomach

It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery for weight loss, but complications are rare. In fact, the Obesity Action Coalition found that complications occur in less than five percent of weight loss surgeries.

Your Diet After Surgery

After surgery, it’s important to eat healthy foods and small portions, but you’ll have to gradually reintroduce your stomach to food. Post-surgery, you’ll follow a liquid-only diet for about two weeks in Phase 1. You’ll add additional foods in each Phase about every two weeks after that. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Phase 1 – Liquid-only diet such as broth, non-fat milk, protein drinks.
  • Phase 2 – Small amounts of soft foods such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, pureed fruits and vegetables, refried beans, cottage cheese.
  • Phase 3 – Bite-sized portions of solid foods like eggs, fish, lean meats, beans.

You may experience some stomach discomfort as your body adjusts to the surgery and your new diet. It’s important to stay hydrated, gradually introduce new foods at each Phase, and keep your portion sizes small.

Follow-Up Care

You’ll meet with your doctor after Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery periodically to monitor healing, measure weight loss, and evaluate your diet. After Lap-Band surgery – You’ll meet with your doctor every three to four months during the first year. If necessary, Lap-Band adjustments will be made. Six-month check-ups are recommended after that. After Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery – You’ll meet with your doctor 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, and 5 to 6 weeks after surgery. After that, follow-up visits are recommended every 3 months during the first year. If you live in the Manhattan area and you’re ready to lose weight and keep it off for good, contact the New York Bariatric Group to talk to a member of our team.