New Weight Loss Procedure Transforms Young Obese Patients
ABC News recently reported that there is a new weight loss procedure that transforms young obese patients into happier youths by helping them finally lose added weight that has become a life-burden for them.
According to the news report, using a new cutting-edge bariatric procedure at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, bariatric surgeons helped 19-year-old Michaela Suffy lose 70 of the 250 pounds that had placed a unique burden on her young life that is also affecting a growing number of young people.
"We are now also starting to see medical problems that we've never seen in this age group―we're starting to see hypertension, or high blood pressure and diabetes," says Dr. Ragui Sadek one of the bariatric surgeons operating on the young obese.
Despite Michaela’s past efforts to lose weight through diet and exercise prior to the surgery, the weight continued to increase, making it difficult to even go for a walk in the mall without feeling out of breath. She finally came to the realization that she needed help and turned to surgical options that typically are performed only on adults.
"We are the only center of excellence for adolescent bariatric surgery in the country," adds Dr. Sadek, "we do it here in a safe way, in a very effective way following very, very strict criteria."
The surgical procedure used on Michaela is categorized as a “Restrictive” type where food is physically restricted, but digestion and absorption remains normal. More precisely, it was a unique sleeve and staple procedure referred to as a “Sleeve gastrectomy” in which the surgeon using staples, creates a sleeve-shaped stomach―about the size of a banana―with the excised portion of the stomach removed.
The result of the surgery is that the newly shaped stomach can now hold only about a cup of food, which imposes a physical limit to the amount of food a person can eat at one time. The result is that it leaves patients feeling fuller sooner and longer, as well as decreases the levels of hunger hormones so that the patient feels less hungry. According to the bariatric center’s website, patients typically lose up to 65 percent of excess weight over an 18-month period.
One of the other benefits of this type of surgery in that it can be done via a laparoscopic technique that uses several small incisions and three or more laparoscopes to visualize the inside of the abdomen during the operation rather than through a large open incision. When the surgery is performed with a laparoscope it typically reduces the length of the hospital stay, the amount of scarring, and results in a quicker recovery than the more invasive “open” type of standard procedure
Advantages of Sleeve Gastrectomy
• Patients typically lose from 30 to 80 percent of their weight
• Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure will be improved
• Digestion and absorption remain normal
• Although follow-up care will continue, no postoperative adjustments need to be made
Risks of Sleeve Gastrectomy
• Separation of tissue that was stapled or stitched together
• Leaks from staples
• Gastric leakage
• Risks inherent with any surgery
According to the ABC News report, after the surgery, Dr. Sadek and his staff follow-up with each patient to ensure they keep the weight off.
"I love watching the transformation, I love when they start sitting up in their seat, and they're talking in support groups and they're sharing," says Dr. Sadek.
To this date, Michaela has lost 70 pounds, and now wants to help other teens live healthier lives, too.
"This is such a big part of my life now―it's a whole lifestyle change, and I just want to educate people about it―I love everything about it," she told reporters.
For more on weight loss surgery, here’s an informative article that compares the Duodenal Switch with the Gastric Bypass surgical procedures and their results.
In addition, here is a new report about a lesser used surgical method that studies show actually results in more weight loss.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital: Surgical Options