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Weight Loss (Bariatric) Surgeries

Person measuring their trim waist line

Weight Loss (Bariatric) Surgeries Performed on an Outpatient Basis

Between 1992-2007, there were approximately 205,000 bariatric weight loss surgeries performed in the United States. These surgical procedures are known to help resolve medical issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and overall body pain. Patients have a fuller life thanks to these types of interventions. More and more, these types of surgeries are being done on an outpatient basis. Many people do not have the time for long hospital stays or recovery periods. Thus, they look to options that give them the great results with fewer demands.

Ambulatory Procedure Requirements Decrease

Within the bariatric world; an outpatient surgery is considered one where the patients are held for less than 24 hours. For a few select candidates, the Roux-en-Y may be considered as one of these types of surgeries. Medical centers, which have a great deal of experience in this method, are more likely to do this complex surgery on a same-day basis.

Of course, to be released within 24 hours, the patient must have had no complications during the surgery. While any of the procedures can be done on a same-day basis, the Lap-Band is the one that offers the shortest surgical time and recovery period. The recovery time for these procedures has drastically reduced over the past decade. In 2002, more than 62 percent of all weight loss (bariatric) surgeries required a hospital stay. Thankfully, advances in medical technology and anesthesia have decreased ambulatory procedure requirements.

Why The Lap Band Is the Perfect Outpatient Surgery

The laparoscopic, adjustable, gastric band is one of the most common non-invasive bariatric surgeries used today. It is more commonly known as the Lap-Band. This procedure is done laparoscopically, which helps give the patient quicker healing times. The patient is put under general anesthesia, and a clear band is put around the stomach creating a pouch. The band comes in different sizes, depending on the size of the stomach. It is adjusted in a doctor's office over a period of time. Once the band is fitted, it is filled with saline until the desired pouch size is reached. From start to finish, the entire procedure does not take more than an hour. It is the most non-invasive of all weight loss (bariatric) surgical procedures.

The Lap-Band is popular among weight loss (bariatric) surgery because it is such a simple procedure. Patients follow up in the doctor's office, where the band's saline levels can be increased or decreased with a small needle. If a patient is not making significant progress, the doctor can increase the saline, which shrinks the size of the pouch. If a patient is losing too much weight, the doctor can make the pouch larger by decreasing the saline levels.

In deciding, whether a patient will have to stay or go home is evaluated based on their co-morbidities and the overall success of the surgery. A patient must pass a series of tests before they will be released. The complication profile for this surgery is generally very low. One possible side effect is a hernia. In older band systems, a common complication was the band was too tight. However, these issues have been alleviated thanks to the new band system. For those who want to have the procedure done on an outpatient basis, many doctors will use the AP-large band if they have any doubt about the correct size.

Technology Has Advanced Weight Loss (Bariatric) Surgeries

The increased mandate for weight loss (bariatric) surgeries most definitely will continue. Obesity is becoming more prevalent. The success of minimally invasive bariatric surgeries continues to be experienced and shared. Demands from the patients, insurance companies, and surgeons, will continue to push these once ambulatory procedures on an outpatient basis. While the Lap-Band may be the most popular, it is not the only procedure to be done on an outpatient basis. It depends largely on the surgical center and the patient's overall health.