Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weight-Loss Surgery Done With Just A Tiny Scar

Denver, CO
A bariatric surgeon in Denver is now performing weight loss surgery through just one small incision near the belly button. The technique is called SILS or single incision laparoscopic surgery. It's an innovative way of doing adjustable gastric band surgery -- it leaves just a tiny scar.

Dr. Michael Snyder is the first bariatric surgeon in the region to perform the SILS technique.

"I can make about a 3 centimeter incision and do all the work through just that 3 centimeter incision," said Snyder after performing his sixth SILS surgery at Rose Medical Center.

Patient Judy Lucas decided it was right for her. Sixteen years ago, the co-owner of Mutt Puddles Dog Grooming quit smoking and started gaining weight. At 5 feet 3 inches, she weighs 260 pounds.

"I've tried every diet in the book; I own every diet book," said Lucas. "Every day I get home from work, my legs are swollen, my back hurts. It's harder for me to do my job."

That pushed Lucas to weight-loss surgery. She chose to have an adjustable gastric band inserted to restrict her stomach and make her feel fuller. It's an operation normally done laparoscopically through about five small incisions. But using the SILS technique, Dr. Snyder operated through just one small cut near the belly button.

"It doesn't change the operation at all, it just changes the access points," said Snyder.

It was a 45-minute surgery. Lucas went home the same day.

"I think the healing process is going to be a lot easier, " she said.

She has already lost 14 pounds. Her goal is to lose at least 100.

The SILS technique was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in May 2008. It is also being used in removing gall bladders and appendixes.

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