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General Medical Questions
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Question : What is an effective laparoscopic surgery for obesity?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Mary Pickett, M.D. is an Associate professor at Oregon Health & Science University where she is a primary care doctor for adults. She supervises and educates residents in the field of Internal Medicine, for outpatient and hospital care. She is a Lecturer for Harvard Medical School and a Senior Medical Editor for Harvard Health Publications.

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October 17, 2013
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A reduced-calorie diet and an active lifestyle that includes regular exercise are the most important treatments for obesity.

However, people with severe obesity can speed weight loss with medicine or with weight loss surgery. All of the surgeries decrease the size of the stomach. Some also bypass part of the intestine so fewer calories get absorbed.

For the right person, obesity surgery can be a successful treatment and can improve health.

There are three common laparoscopic surgeries that can successfully reduce obesity.

The first is laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, also known as the “mini gastric bypass.” This surgery removes part of the stomach to make it smaller. It also re-routes the path that your food takes during digestion. So, swallowed food passes through a shorter length of intestine. This means you are not able to absorb all of the calories from the food you have eaten. This surgery definitely causes weight loss. But it also puts you at risk for iron deficiency, vitamin deficiencies, and the problems that can result from these nutrition problems — such as fatigue, nerve pain or numbness. Like any surgery on the bowel, it is also possible to have complications, such as a bowel leak. And that would require a repeat operation.

The second surgery is named laparoscopic gastric “banding” surgery. It’s also called the “Lap Band” surgery. This surgery puts an inflatable ring around the lower part of the stomach. The ring is filled with salt water (saline). The ring squeezes the stomach to make it smaller. So you feel full more quickly. The ring can be inflated to squeeze the stomach even more. Or saline can be removed from the ring if it is squeezing the stomach too much.

The third surgery is called a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. It is commonly known as stomach “stapling” surgery. This surgery narrows the stomach and reduces your ability to eat large portions of solid food.

Talk with your doctor about the best weight loss option for you.

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