Advanced Bariatrics


Weightloss Surgery Options

Our Medical Director, Dr. Karl Strom, Explains Your Bariatric Surgery Options


According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, there are two basic approaches to weight loss surgery:

  • Restrictive procedures that decrease food intake
  • Malabsorptive procedures that alter digestion, causing food to be poorly digested and incompletely absorbed

Laparoscopic or Minimally Invasive Surgery Alternatives

At Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center, we perform the following minimally invasive surgeries:

These procedures are known as laparoscopic. When a laparoscopic operation is performed, a tiny video camera and surgical instruments are inserted through small incisions made in the abdominal wall and the surgeon views the procedure on a separate high definition video monitor.

This provides the laparoscopic surgeon with better visualization and access to key anatomical structures while also eliminating the need for one long abdominal incision.

Studies have proven that patients who have laparoscopic weight loss surgery experience less pain after surgery, as well as easier breathing, improved lung function and higher oxygen levels. Other benefits of laparoscopy include fewer wound complications such as infection or hernia and a quicker return to pre-surgery activity levels.

Laparoscopic procedures for weight loss employ the same principles as their "open" surgery counterparts and produce similar excess weight loss. However, not all patients are candidates for this approach and all bariatric surgeons are not trained in the advanced techniques required to perform this less invasive method. The American Society for Bariatric Surgery recommends that laparoscopic weight loss surgery should only be performed by surgeons who are experienced in both laparoscopic and open bariatric procedures.

Weight loss surgery is major surgery. Although most patients enjoy an improvement in obesity-related health conditions (such as mobility, self-image and self-esteem) after the successful results of weight loss surgery, these results should not be the overriding motivation for having the procedure. The goal is to live better, healthier and longer. This surgery is only a tool. Your ultimate success depends on strict adherence to the recommended dietary, exercise and lifestyle changes.

A Lifelong Commitment

It is important to remember that there are no ironclad guarantees in any kind of medicine or surgery. There can be unexpected outcomes in even the simplest procedures. What can be said, however, is that weight loss surgery will only succeed when the patient makes a lifelong commitment? Some of the challenges facing a person after weight loss surgery can be unexpected. Lifestyle changes can strain relationships within families and between married couples. To help patients achieve their goals and deal with the changes surgery and weight loss can bring, most bariatric surgeons offer follow-up care that includes support groups, dieticians and other forms of continuing education.

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