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08 April 2004

A safer gastric bypass surgery

A two-stage approach to weight-loss surgery for morbidly obese patients greatly reduces postoperative risk and provides significant short-term weight loss, says a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center study.

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A two-stage approach to weight-loss surgery for morbidly obese patients greatly reduces postoperative risk and provides significant short-term weight loss, says a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center study.

In this approach to what is called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, the patients first undergo laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) and move on to the second stage months later, after the LSG procedure has helped them lose weight.

In LSG, a large portion of the stomach is surgically removed, reducing the stomach from about quart-sized and football-shaped to about the size and shape of a banana.

How it works
During the Roux-en-Y procedure, surgeons construct a small stomach pouch about the size of a plastic medicine cup and bypass a small segment of intestines by constructing a Y-shaped limb of small bowel.

Extremely high-risk patients are typically denied bariatric surgery management because of their excessive operative risk, study principal investigator Dr Phillip Schauer, an assistant professor of surgery and director of bariatric surgery, said in a prepared statement.

Our study found that by performing this less drastic surgery first, allowing the patient to lose a substantial amount of weight and then performing the laparoscopic Roux-en-Y, mortality was greatly reduced, Schauer said.

The study was presented April 3 at the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons annual meeting in Denver. - (HealthDayNews)

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