Laparoscopic surgery for morbid obesity

Philip R. Schauer, Sayeed Ikramuddin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

206 Scopus citations


Minimally invasive approaches to bariatric surgery offer significant advantages over those of open surgery. The potential of laparoscopic approaches to reduce the morbidity of these operations may exceed that of laparoscopic cholecystecomy and laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication because the access incisions for open bariatric operations have relatively greater potential for harming the morbidly obese patient. Early results of laparoscopic VBG suggest a significant decrease in perioperative morbidity compared to the open approach, with similar weight-loss results. LGB may have the lowest perioperative morbidity and mortality of all current bariatric operations. However, the reoperation rate for device-related complications or failure of the patient to lose sufficient weight appears significant. Long-term esophageal motility also remains questionable for the LGB. It is hoped that the FDA trial will address many of the issues regarding LGB. Results of Lap RYGBP are accumulating and appear promising. The early experience suggests that it is technically feasible and safe in the hands of surgeons who have appropriate training. It is associated with low perioperative morbidity, short hospital stay, and rapid recovery compared to expected results of open RYGBP. Weight loss for Lap RYGBP after 5 years is excellent. It is, however, a technically formidable operation requiring long operating times and a steep learning curve. Early results indicate that technical complications may be greater than those experienced with open RYGBP because of the learning curve. Lap RYGBP is a promising bariatric procedure with potentially significant advantages over open RYGBP. Thus, for patients in the United States, Lap RYGBP may become the preferred weight-reduction procedure. The value of hand-assisted bariatric procedures and laparoscopic malabsorption procedures must await further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1145-1179
Number of pages35
JournalSurgical Clinics of North America
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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