Laprascopic Gastric Bypass in the Tri-State

New Media Producer: Dave Novak

During laprascopic Gastric bypass surgery, doctors make five to seven small incisions in the patient's abdomen to create a pouch in the stomach the size of an egg. The work is done with a long scope that has a tiny camera on the end of it. It may not seem like surgeons can see very much this way, but Owensboro native Dr. John Oldham says you'd be surprised. He performs this same surgery atGeorgetown Community Hospital in Kentucky.

Oldham says, "Basically, you have a camera that is up in an area where it's hard to see when you've got them opened up. So, we're actually looking at TV monitors and the camera is inside your abdomen and you're looking right where you want to look. So, it's actually much better."

Following the guidelines of the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons, St. Mary's Bariatric Center started its program last year with surgeons performing open surgeries. After a hundred cases or so, surgeon Erik Throop says he will start learning how to do them laprascopically. As for patients who don't want to wait.

Throop says, "I would tell them that if they want to have it done right now, they can go somewhere else. If they want to wait and have it done locally which I think would be in their best interest in terms of long term follow up and the supervision that goes along with the procedure, they could wait until we get to that point here locally." Throop expects to get to that point sometime this year.

Both doctors agree the laprascopic surgery causes much less trauma to the body and potentially less pain because of the smaller incisions, making the recovery time shorter. Again the differences are only short term. Long term you're still going to have the same effect, hopefully losing up to two thirds of your excess body weight.