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New Surgical Weight Loss Option
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy offers a new way to win the struggle with obesity. It has the best benefits of gastric banding and gastric bypass without the drawbacks of those more well-known operations.
By: Lee Schmitt M.D.
This beneficial metabolic effect is seen in gastric bypass, but unlike gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy does not require re-routing and bypassing the intestine or creating new connections between the stomach and intestine. “You get the benefits of safely losing a lot of weight like in bypass, but without the risk of scarring or ulcers at the surgical connections, internal hernias or nutritional deficiencies,”
Sleeve gastrectomy has advantages over gastric banding as well. Restriction is achieved more naturally without a foreign body. Sleeve gastrectomy avoids the complications of having an implanted device and the need for periodic adjustments. “The amount of excess weight loss is better with sleeve gastrectomy”
After her sister in Orlando had the operation, Melissa Medlin of Huntsville found Dr. Schmitt and had her “sleeve” as she calls it in August of 2008. “I have lost over 70 pounds in 5 months and I am still dropping”, she says. “I had surgery on Tuesday and was back at work Friday”, she adds. Dr. Schmitt says that most patients are off work for five to seven days after surgery.
Like all surgery there are risks. “All good surgeons will emphasize the risk of the surgery they are going to perform, but do all internist emphasize the risks of remaining obese, and if they do, do they offer meaningful realistic options to lose 50 or more pounds?”, asks Dr. Schmitt. Numerous studies comparing patients who have Bariatric surgery with those who don’t show improved survival in the surgery groups. “When hypertension and diabetes are cured after surgery, there are fewer cardiovascular deaths and there are fewer cancer deaths as well”, according to Dr. Schmitt. When done by a Center of Excellence surgeon, like Schmitt, weight loss surgery is safer than having your gallbladder removed.
Mrs. Medlin certainly is pleased. “I have so much more energy now and can do so much more than I could before my surgery. And talk about a boost to your self esteem, wow, to see friends faces when they see you is amazing.”
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Alabama Weight Loss Surgery is Alabama's leader in bariatric surgery. Located at St Vincent's East in Birmingham, they serve all of Alabama and patients across the southeast. Recognized as a Center of Excellence.